Matt Camden and Scott Tidwell of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) joined “Curious Conversations” to talk about the institute’s Sharing the Road program, which has shared tips for driving around heavy trucks with more than 20,000 high school students since 2018. They discussed the research behind the program and shared practical safety tips for drivers of all ages.

About Camden and Tidwell

Camden is a senior research associate and group leader of the Research to Practice and Outreach Program in VTTI’s Division of Freight, Transit, and Heavy Vehicle Safety.

Tidwell a senior field researcher technician in the Division of Freight, Transit, and Heavy Vehicle Safety at VTTI.

Three takeaways from the conversation

About 78 percent of crashes between heavy trucks and smaller vehicles are found to be the fault of the smaller vehicle. Prior to starting Share the Road, the VTTI researchers found that only 50 percent of states incorporated driving around heavy trucks into their required driver’s education programs.  

Available in multiple states, one of the program’s highlights is allowing people to experience firsthand the four blind spots of a semi-truck by sitting in the driver’s seat.

Share the Road is built on five key strategies to stay safe when moving around semi-trucks, one of which is how to properly pass the larger vehicle. All five are included in the podcast.

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About the podcast

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life. Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

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