Share the Road safety tour visits Charlotte, N.C.

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Lifesaving highway driving tips were presented recently in Charlotte, N.C., as part of the American Trucking Associations’ national Share the Road highway safety tour by top professional truck drivers and other safety partners.

In the past year, a poll cited traffic congestion as the No. 1 problem in the greater Charlotte region, and a study found that congestion in North Carolina will more than double in the next 25 years. Traffic delays in Charlotte will mirror those currently seen in Chicago, indicating the need for motorists to learn safe driving techniques.

The American Trucking Associations, the North Carolina Trucking Association, North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Governors Highway Safety Program, Charlotte Mecklenburg School driver trainers, AAA Carolinas and the Share the Road sponsors Mack Trucks and Michelin North America joined the elite group of drivers to discuss highway safety on Charlotte highways. The stop at Mack Trucks Charlotte demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks.

Featured at the April 19 event were professional truck drivers Larry Shelton and Ralph Hamilton with Old Dominion Freight Line, Tony Sifford with FedEx Ground, Jerry Avossa with FedEx Freight, and Rick Whittle, a truck driver for Bulldog Hiway Express. Those drivers are members of an elite team of million-mile accident-free truck drivers who deliver the trucking industry’s safety messages across the country.

“Over 90.9 percent of the work force and many high school and college students in the Charlotte area drive to work or school each day,” Shelton says. “Most automobile drivers were never taught what they can do to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer.”

Sifford says that Share the Road allows him to give people lifesaving advice. “By being aware of the blind spots around trucks, all drivers can more easily avoid crashes,” Sifford says. “This information and other safety advice will help everyone to share the roads safely.”

Following the safety demonstration, reporters, photographers and CMS driver trainers were given tractor-trailer rides on Interstate 85. From the truck driver’s perspective, they viewed safe merging and stopping distances and learned firsthand some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. The demonstration was designed to teach specific skills in order for motorists to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks and large commercial vehicles on the highways.