As part of a new strategy aimed at cutting commercial motor vehicle-related crashes, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said it will focus on educating teenagers.

The "Teens & Trucks" training program was launched in collaboration with Arizona Trucking Association, Arizona Department of Public Safety, American Trucking Associations and related industry organizations. The goal of the program is to help educate teens about safe driving practices around commercial vehicles. Funding support for the program's development has been provided in part by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

"A teen driver's inexperience, inattention, and false sense of invincibility behind the wheel are all too often a deadly combination, especially around big trucks and buses," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "This program is a great new resource for parents, schools and enforcement groups for raising teens' awareness of the dangers of driving unsafely around trucks."

According to CVSA, teens comprise six percent of licensed drivers, yet they are involved in 12 percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S.

"While truck and bus drivers do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars, especially young people ages 16 to 24 years old, unnecessarily endanger themselves and others by failing to recognize that large CMVs and cars differ in their handling characteristics," said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA's interim executive director. "As a result of these unsafe actions, behaviors of the passenger vehicle driver are the critical reason behind most traffic crashes involving large CMVs and passenger vehicles."

The Teens & Trucks Program, part of CVSA's Operation Safe Driver initiative, is dedicated to improving commercial and non-commercial driver behavior and performance through effective enforcement, education and awareness strategies.

"Any training that can prepare young drivers for the risks involved when driving around these vehicles can be beneficial especially if it's delivered in a format they can relate to and apply," said Lt. Col. Jack Hegarty, Arizona Department of Public Safety.

"It is especially important for teen drivers to understand the unique operating characteristics of large trucks so - from the very outset - they can learn and use the skills necessary to share the road safely," said Rob Abbott, vice president of safety policy with the ATA. "Bad habits can be hard to break, so providing this training to drivers in their formative years is particularly valuable."

For more information about the program, go to