Wal-Mart Transportation Educates SHS on Safe Driving
Just this week, the Searcy Police Department announced that it would be taking measures to cut down on texting and driving. We at Searcy Public Schools are committed to educating our students about the dangers of distracted driving. Through a partnership with Wal-Mart transportation this week, students in grades 9-12 at Searcy High School were able to experience what it would be like to be the driver of a large tractor trailer truck.
Two Wal-Mart drivers Tom Merrill and Jason Mendenhall visited the Searcy High School health classes earlier in the week and educated our students on avoiding the blind spots of large trucks and refraining from distracted driving. Because of the size of these trucks, there are more blind spots than driving a regular automobile. Mr. Merrill discussed the side, rear, front, and backing blind spots. He also explained that wide right turns are difficult to maneuver and drivers on the road should be aware when a commercial truck is turning. Additionally, the guest speaker cautioned our students against the use of cell phones while driving. According to textingandrivingsafety.com, 1.3 million car crashes are due to the use of cell phones while driving, and text messaging while driving makes a crash 23X more likely to occur.
Blake Schowe, Wal-Mart General Transportation Manager in Searcy, spent time with our students as well during the Safe Driving Behavior Education course this week. “The Walmart Private Fleet in Searcy is glad to establish a relationship with the schools in our local communities so as to be able to educate our youth about the need to not drive distracted as well as to what they need to be mindful of when driving next to a commercial motor vehicle. We hope our time spent with Searcy High School’s health education students emphasized the need for them to be aware of a truck driver’s blind spots,” says Schowe. Because the students were able to actually sit in the drivers’ seat of a Wal-Mart truck, our students will have a better perspective of what a truck driver can actually see and not see. “We hope this information will stay with the students for a lifetime and keep them from ever being involved in a serious accident with any commercial vehicle.”
Searcy School District would like to thank Wal-Mart transportation department for providing this very important lesson to our young people. We are fortunate to have community partners who see a need for safety education in the schools.