Saturday, January 30, 2010

The national Share the Road highway safety program has returned to West Virginia for the fourth time in three years to deliver life-saving highway driving tips from the nation's top professional truck drivers.

The 2010 West Virginia International Auto Show provided the perfect backdrop for the elite group of million mile accident-free drivers to share their message of road safety. According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, West Virginia saw 380 highway fatalities in 2008.

The West Virginia International Auto Show Share the Road stop demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks. The auto show presentation will continue through Sunday, Jan. 31 with drivers available for interviews in the cab of the truck or in studio.

"Being at the West Virginia International Auto Show is an opportunity to talk to a great number of people about highway safety," said Clarence Jenkins, a professional truck driver for UPS Freight from Poca, W. Va. "We can get attendees up inside the cab of a truck to see first-hand the limitations I face on the road everyday. That's why we're out here today – to educate the public and make us all a little safer."

Featured at the auto show are professional truck drivers Ron Hawkins (K-Limited Carriers), Barry Holland (UPS Freight), Clarence Jenkins, Jr. (UPS Freight) and Tony Sperro (ABF Freight System). These 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.

West Virginia Motor Truck Association President Jan Vineyard told reporters, "I'm excited to see the Share the Road safety program at the West Virginia International Auto Show educating attendees on the differences professional truck drivers face on the highway. The trucking industry is an integral part of West Virginia's economy, so educational programs like this are paramount to keeping everyone safe and keeping our goods and products moving."

Today's presentation of Share the Road safety measures is important for motorists because:

•Over the past decade alone, the large truck fatal crash rate dropped by 23 percent (USDOT)
•35 percent of all truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck's blind spots (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
•According to three different studies – including the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation and DOT, 3 out of 4 truck-involved fatalities are unintentionally initiated by car drivers.

The safety demonstration today at the West Virginia International Auto Show will continue through Sunday. Reporters will be able to view the road from the truck driver's perspective, and learn up close and personal some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. Today's demonstration was designed to teach specific skills to motorists in order to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks and large commercial vehicles on the highways, and to arrive safely at their destinations.

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