September 21, 2017

Brigham City, Utah September 21, 2017: Staker Parson Companies joined a Utah Department of Transportation Zero Fatalities Truck Smart presentation at the Box Elder High School, Wednesday. The Truck Smart program educates drivers about the impact the trucking industry has on the economy and stresses that truck drivers need the community to drive safely around them to avoid crashes and fatalities on the road.

UDOT employee Katie “the truck lady” Lindley, teaches driver education students across Utah how to be Truck Smart. In Utah, 25 percent of vehicles on the road are large trucks, while most other states only have around 13 percent.

“I love this program,” Lindley said. “What I like the most is the look on the kids’ faces when they get in the truck and they try to find the car that they know is there, and they can’t see it anymore. That lightbulb clicks on their face as they realize “Oh, I shouldn’t be driving there.” I [also] love giving them the idea that we need trucks for everything. People don’t realize that our economy runs our life and if the trucks stop, life stops. It’s fun to be with the students, and talk to them, and teach them things that could save their life.”

Activities included a first-hand learning experience where the students had the opportunity to sit in a Staker Parson Companies truck and pup to find its blind spots, a Q and A with Staker Parson Companies Driver Mentor Tyler Petersen, a pre and post-lesson quiz, and learning videos.

“I think Staker Parson being involved is very important,” Petersen said. “We’ve got a lot of trucks on the road and are a local company. If we can support what they are trying to teach in the class, and the students can see that the drivers are trying to be safe then they can apply what they are being taught.”

“What I thought was surprising was how wide the blind spots were,” Caitlin Schnurstein, a student present during the Truck Smart presentation said. “I didn’t really know that the blind spots were that large. Some things I had knowledge coming into this. Like, yeah, don’t cut trucks off, but I didn’t know you had to keep a car length for every ten miles per hour. I thought it was generally just three car lengths in general, which is definitely not enough on the interstate.”

“The program is awesome and it rocks,” Lindley said. “We have a lot of fun with it.  We want to get the word out to everyone, not just high school students. We want everyone to be safe. This is just the starting point, the newest drivers on the road. If we can change behaviors through them, hopefully the future generations will be able to see that everyone needs to know how to drive safe around big rigs.”