Port Jervis students handle big rigs to avoid crashes

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Some Port Jervis High School students got behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer Thursday to learn how to avoid potentially deadly accidents.

Landstar, which owns the truck and conducted the demonstration, teamed up with school administrators to teach new drivers how to share the road. They discussed tips and told students to look at the truck's side mirror. Officials say if drivers of smaller cars can't see a truck driver's face, they're in a blind spot.

"I'm recently a new driver," said 11th-grader Eileen Millspaugh. "I'm not allowed on [I-] 84 yet, but once I do get there, this will be a good learning experience."

Last July, a teen driver slammed into a tractor-trailer on the Tappan Zee Bridge, resulting in a fiery collision. In 2006, three Port Jervis high school seniors were killed when their Nissan collided with a truck on I-84.

Students at Thursday's hands-on defensive driving course say those incidents serve as a constant reminder of just how dangerous driving can be.

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