Rules of the Road: Drivers warned to be careful with tractor trailers

6:48 PM, Jul 6, 2011   |    comments
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An estimated 15-million trucks hit our highways and byways annually in America. Tommy Wallen wants to be part fo that fleet.

"So I started looking on the internet, looking around for trucking schools," Wallen said.

He's in the middle of his required 126 hours of instructional training before getting his Commercial Driver's License at the Smokey Mountain Trucking Institute in Sevier County.

"You don't drive a truck like you do a pickup truck or a personal vehicle. It's totally different," said instructor Nicola Singletary.

And safety, they say is priority one.

"With our mirrors, you don't look straight ahead. When driving a truck you use a fanning motion. You look at all our mirrors, straight head, mirror on the right. You look every 3 seconds," Wallen added.

Same goes for car drivers.

"The biggest thing they need to learn to do is learn to watch and know we can't stop on a dime. It takes us a good distance to stop."

And while there's a lot of switches and maneuvers, driver Wallen said he's ready to hit the road.

"Being able to see things, being able to deliver things that are needed to the public," he smiled.

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