Local News

Big-rig technology adding additional safety for truck drivers

Posted September 18, 2015 10:41 p.m. EDT
Updated September 18, 2015 10:47 p.m. EDT

Thirty-five years ago, Derrick Whittle Sr. decided to become a pro in truck driving. They call him “wide receiver” over the radio, a name he selected after playing the position as a high school football player.

Whittle has traveled 3.5 million accident-free miles.

“I got to travel, and I got to see America,” he said.

After decades on the road, Whittle says technology has made big-rigs much safer. But the technology in cars around him has made the driving much more dangerous.

“I see it as a problem, an immediate problem,” Whittle said. “It needs to be addressed. It only takes a second for a fatality to happen.”

Whittle said the best way to avoid danger is to stay out of the blind spots of big trucks on the road.

“Sometimes these drivers think we can stop this truck on a dime and give them nine cents change,” he said.

Whittle added that drivers should exercise additional caution while navigating through work zones.

“They are dangerous. Your chances increase of a potential accident,” he said. “Many people have been killed in these construction zones.”

Every industry has accidents, but there are many drivers in the trucking industry looking for another million accident-free miles.

The American Trucking Association said the overall crash rate for large trucks is 40 percent less than other vehicles.