Confidence is an essential quality for truck drivers to possess. Could you imagine carrying down the road for years on the shaky knees you had when you were a rookie? No, probably not. Finding your confidence on the road as a truck driver is discovering your ability to succeed in this industry, to drive safely and to get the job done. That being said, becoming overly confident brings a new set of problems that can lead you to make rookie mistakes.
Too much confidence tends to cause drivers to discard caution and become complacent behind the wheel. There are hundreds of scenarios of what causes overconfidence, here are just a few to give you a more accurate image of how it all happens:
You have driven the same stretch of highway for years, so much so that you know the route like the back of your hand – you let your guard down becoming overly confident. Traffic ahead has come to a halt because of an accident, and you haven’t given yourself enough stopping distance because you weren’t paying attention as you would have been if you hadn’t already done it 100 times before.
Since mastering the skill of backing, you have the skill and ability to back into any dock, anywhere and in any condition – you let your guard down becoming overly confident, and you don’t notice an obvious obstruction, like an overhang that you have now damaged after backing into it.
Having too much confidence often develops after years of running accident-free miles. Drivers begin to not only trust their ability to drive safely but develop an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude because they have not experienced a near miss or accident at this point in their career.
This is the attitude that leads to overconfidence where many drivers feel that they are exempt from the risks of the road because they are just that good. This inflated sense of skill tends to lead drivers to disregard the everyday risk involved with the job.
Everyone has their limits, and in a profession that carries unlimited and ever-changing risks, it is important never to let your guard down and become overconfident in your abilities. At best, overconfidence can have you making embarrassing rookie mistakes; at its worst, it could lead you into an accident cause harm and death.