If you have travelled anywhere this past year, you have seen your share of truckers inundating the interstates and highways of the United States. As we navigate our way from place to place, they are busy on journeys of their own.
Making sure that we get access to our everyday needs and the wants that tickle our fancy is what pays their bills. The job is not as easy as we think, either. Truck drivers are regularly away from their families sometimes up to months at a time.
They work long hours everyday and put up with every kind of driver on the road from the polite, well educated commuter to the rude and extremely immature hot rodder. Ever wondered how you can help out? Read on to learn three ways you can help set an example of respect for other drivers.
Know the History
Do you happen to know the history of why the interstates were created? Former President Eisenhower spearheaded the project stating that the world was expanding. The population of the United States was growing and in order to keep up with the growing demand for goods, a system of roads that gave truckers quicker access to communities was necessary.
Thus, the interstate was born. It wasn’t until years later that it was open to the public. Why should I know this? How does this help me show respect to truckers? One of the reasons we learn about history in school is so that we carry an understanding of where we came from and become familiar with our nation’s growing pains.
It helps us to respect the process of law and order and take our place in our designated room of history. Likewise, if we understand that some of the things we take for granted, like the interstate and being able to get what we need at the store, are part of the history of the trucking industry, we can develop a respect for the time and effort put into the process.
Give Them Their Space
How many times have you been driving down the road and are privy to the sight of someone cutting off a semi-truck? How about watching them pass on the right side of an 18 wheeler knowing that they have a significant blind side on the right? Maybe you have been guilty of tailgating a trucker.
One of the easiest ways to show respect to a trucker is simply to back off and give them their space. The majority of trucks, cargo and all, can be well over 80,000lbs. This much weight is much harder to control than your light weight Ford Focus.
Passing on the right side of a trucker is asking to get run off the road and tailgating could cost you your life if the truck has to make a sudden stop or if you decide paying attention to the road is less important than answering your phone or playing with the radio.
See The Road Through Their Eyes
Lastly, take the time to see things through a trucker’s eyes. There are many things you might find similar to your job. They have deadlines, rules to follow, and regulations that seem to change every week. They have lunch and bathroom breaks, love to listen to the radio while they work, and don’t mind the occasional smoke break.
However, there are some things that might differ greatly from your job. Truckers live without the comfort of goodnight kisses and hugs from their kids on a regular basis. Snuggling up to their spouse at night is more of a luxury. Sleep is mandated, but can keep them from meeting deadlines and the comfort of being in their own shower and home, in general, is a dream seldom fulfilled.
Think about that the next time you see a weary truck driver swerve. Instead of flipping them off, check on them, wave to them, or try and get them to blow their horn at you. They will appreciate the wake up call and the fact that you took their humanity into consideration.
Truck drivers are an amazing appendage to the body of the economy, but they are also mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends. Let’s treat them as such and use the tips above to show a little more respect the next time you travel.