One reason is trucks are the minority on the road, so it’s easier to scapegoat “the others.” Another reason is big trucks are, well, big and scary. When four wheelers cause close calls, and they’re freaked out, it’s easy to blame the big scary monster.
There are many things truck drivers do differently than, or better than, four wheelers to allow us to driver 120,000 + miles per year, accident free.
Trucks are in good repair
Truck drivers are open to inspection anytime while driving across the country and our equipment needs to be in tip top shape. We inspect our trucks several times a day. Maintenance departments want to be notified immediately if there are equipment problems.
I wonder how many four wheelers would be out-of-service if inspected and held to the same standard as the trucking industry.
We understand we are in a flow of traffic
No vehicle on the road exists in a vacuum. Truck drivers need to act as if there are others on the road. This means lane control, consistent & safe speeds, signaling when passing, and allowing others to merge – that’s just to name a few things that are involved in understanding traffic flow and patterns.
Patience is a virtue which saves lives.
Constantly looking for hazards
We need to be looking out for and anticipating hazards. Truck drivers tend to have a good idea of what’s happening in front of and around their truck at all times.
As an example, while passing an accident most people are looking at the accident to see the carnage. Truck drivers are looking everywhere else as there’s emergency personnel on the road. We need to be aware of where the people are so we don’t strike a person.
Operating a vehicle that stands 13ft 6 inches, is longer than 70ft, and can weigh 80 000 LBS or more – around others is not to be taken lightly. A delay, of even a fraction of a second, in reaction time can be the difference between a close call and a fatal accident.
Truck drivers are professionals who make safety their top priority. In this business you need to have safe driving habits. That’s the only way to stay accident free.