Keeping Teens Safe Around Large Commercial Motor Vehicles

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Project Overview:

Between 2017 and October 31, 2021, a total of 1,399 drivers under the age of 26 were involved in fatal crashes with large motor vehicles in the United States. Young drivers in rural areas exhibit a higher percentage of involvement in fatal crashes with large trucks compared to their urban counterparts. Efforts of Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Youth Transportation Safety (YTS) Program, which includes two foundational peer-to-peer education programs, seeks to raise awareness of unique driving needs for trucks and buses by utilizing a positive peer influence.

Key Takeaways:

  • From 2019-present more than 1,109 unique high schools around the country received our large truck and bus safety toolkit.
  • Online and digital learning activities aimed at preventing large truck and bus incidents can be accessed at:
  • Cooperative partnerships with FMCSA, American Road Team, and YTS help schools receive a fun, free big rig visit where truck captains point out safety features and no-zones.

Our Approach:

The YTS Program uses positive peer influence to help educate and deter risky driving behaviors in school-aged children. Utilizing YTS’ program footprint, the team offers large truck and bus safety education and resources to schools across the country. Our education topics include safe distances, braking, turning radius, rural road safety, and work zone safety. Throughout the year teens are encouraged to perform safety-related activities with their peers to raise awareness of unique driving needs for trucks and buses and may be rewarded through the TDS All-Star incentive program.  FMCSA supports these outreach efforts through funding for educational resources and activity development and dissemination, workshops with teen leaders, and the You in the Driver Seat app development. 


A toolkit containing printed resources for preventing large truck and bus incidents was designed with input from a youth audience and then disseminated through the Teens in the Driver Seat (TDS) and U in the Driver Seat (UDS) programs.  Additionally, the project consistently produces educational social media messaging that reaches TDS and UDS followers. FMCSA has been sponsoring Teens in the Driver Seat since 2019 to raise awareness for large truck and bus safety while supporting the essential elements of the peer-to-peer program such as teen leadership building, data collection, and field engagement.


For more information on this project, please contact:

Stacey Tisdale
TTI Project Manager II
Youth Transportation Safety Program
(210) 321-1232
[email protected]

Project Title: National Awareness and Education – Promote Safe Vehicle and Nonvehicle Practices By Teens
Project Start and End Dates: 2019 – Present
Author List: Youth Transportation Safety Program
Sponsor/Funding Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)