BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) – In the last two weeks, KBTX has reported at least five major accidents involving an 18-wheeler. Two of those collisions were fatal.
A local truck driving instructor says it’s a reminder for everyone to be alert on the road.
Daniel Lee, a trainee at Black Wolf CDL Training Center, says he knows there is a lot of responsibility that goes into operating an 18-wheeler.
“There is always a bunch of nerves but if you just follow what you were trained to do, doing your basics, you should be alright,” said Lee.
Before Lee was allowed behind the wheel on the street, he had to start in a classroom.
“They have the simulators. They have two teachers that know everything,” said Lee.
One of those instructors, Marlynda Schmid, says the most important lesson they teach at Black Wolf is following distance and knowing when to stop.
“It takes a lot of concentration and dedication and you need to observe everything around you at all times,” said Schmid.
And that includes other drivers. Schmid says they may not realize how dangerous it is to cut in front of an 18-wheeler.
“If someone pulls out in less than a football-field length, the driver really doesn’t have a lot of reaction time,” said Schmid. “They just need to look for a way out and try to avoid the crash if at all possible.”
Schmid says her drivers are prepared for the worst.
“What are you going to do? Can you move to the left lane? Will you be able to stop, and if you have to stop, what is the first thing you are going to do,” asked Schmid.
Black Wolf drivers are also taught to look out at least 15 seconds for any hazards that may be ahead.