CHARMCO, WV (WVNS) – The Drivers Education classes at Greenbrier West were able to experience firsthand what truck drivers handle when they are behind the wheel.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute visited the high school with their own semi-truck to show students the difficulties that truck drivers experience when on a busy interstate.

The Institute’s “Sharing the Road” program gives students the opportunity to go “behind the wheel” of a truck driver.

The program uses interactive tests as well as an in-class approach, such as a presentation, for students to use and learn from.

Matt Camden, a senior research associate at Virginia Tech Transportation Institution, gave a little insight about the program.

“We are doing an in-person presentation. We also brought the truck out. Each student is allowed to sit behind the wheel and see just how much visibility truck drivers have,” Camden said.

Camden said the program started in 2017 and has grown since its beginning.  Recent research shows that teen drivers were the cause of more than 75 percent of incidents involving heavy trucks. 

Braedyn Tharp, a sophomore at Greenbrier West, said that even though he feels confident in his driving ability, it is always a good idea to see it from a “different point of view.”

“I think it’ll make them realize how to be safer around big trucks. Sort of how wide they have to turn, how fast they go, what kind of procedures they have to follow.”

This was the third time that Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s “Sharing the Road” program has visited Greenbrier West. 

The drivers education teachers at the school hope they make a return for years to come.