Driver's Ed stresses better safety after I-565 tragedy

Since the I-565 bus tragedy, many drivers are being extra careful out on the roadways.

WAFF 48 Investigator Jeanie Powell caught up with two driver's ed instructors who are stressing the importance of being cautious, especially those young drivers.

Charles Whatley, who gives private lessons and also visits Huntsville City Schools, has more than 35 years experience in the business:  "I have put more emphasis on buses because we do encounter them everyday."

Since the I-565 school bus tragedy Whatley wants young drivers to be extra observant on the roadways.

Jeanie asked:  "What is the biggest problem that you see that young drivers face?"

Whatley responded:  "Speeding and not being aware of the danger they're putting themselves into."

His drivers average 15 years old.

"I tell them to never pass the bus on the right hand side.  That's where the side where the doors are because on the right hand side there's truly a blind spot."

Jeanie got a chance to see him at work with a first time driver Anna.

Whatley instructs the student to adjust her seat and mirrors to make her aware of her blind spots.

Then they hit the road.

One of Whatley's main concerns... keeping your distance.

When the vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object, allow at least two seconds before the front of yours gets to that point.

Double the distance when dealing with trucks or buses.

Willard Scissum was a driver's ed teacher for 30 years at Johnson High School.

One of his pet peeves... cell phones.

Scissum says, "It's a blind spot area when you're driving holding it in the hand.  You can't see when you're changing lanes and everything."

He adds that the tragedy was a learning experience for young drivers and hopes it never happens again.