CARTHAGE, MO.--- A Joplin truck driver is teaching new drivers the importance of sharing the road. Parents may be uneasy about their teens getting behind the wheel for the first time, but today's demonstration at Carthage High School gave students a better understanding of driving around trucks.
One thing that newly licensed teenagers may not be aware of is a truck's inability to see part of the road. Three out of four car-truck incidents are unintentionally caused by the car. One Joplin driver says she's a testament to that.
"I've been hit three times by distracted drivers," said Stephanie Klang, Con-Way Truckload Driver.
Stephanie Klang has logged more than three million miles behind the wheel.
"I don't think of myself as a woman in trucking. I'm just in trucking to make it safer for everybody," said Klang.
Klang goes to schools to meet with students who are just getting their driver's licenses.
"We give them pointers on how to drive around a big truck," said Klang.
This is Michelle Atnip's first time sitting in the driver's seat of a tractor-trailer.
"I hadn't expected to see quite so far ahead of me," said Michelle Atnip, Student.
Atnip experienced first hand what it's like to be behind the wheel of Stephanie Klang's truck.
"Drivers want you to be aware of the no-zone, which is on the driver's side, on the passenger side and on the front of the vehicle, and behind the truck," said Atnip.
"We just always like to keep a cushion of space around us. It helps us when things go wrong," said Klang.
Atnip says she'll remember the blind spots next time she passes a semi.
"That's going to make me much more aware when I'm out on the road, making sure they can see me," said Atnip.
Klang says all that matters is to make sure drivers arrive alive.
"If we can save one life out of each class, even just one life today and tomorrow, it's going to be so worth it," said Klang.
Klang is a road team captain for the American Trucking Associations. She will be back at Carthage High School tomorrow.
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