The trucking industry took off in the 1930’s as construction increased, paving new roads everywhere in the U.S. But by the late 50’s, 1960’s…trucking got another boost, as the Interstate Highway System began developing new freeways, linking together all the major cities across the continent. By the late 20th century truckers dominated the freight industry, delivering goods to big box stores. While the trucking industry boomed, it became nationally recognized in the 1970’s because of the songs being sung, as well as movies made about truck drivers. It was a time where drivers did their jobs well, and the Teamsters protected their rights, along with salaries. Those were good years, but it’s changed tremendously. Back in those days they had proper training, and companies cared about employees. Today…it’s apparent that companies lack the proper training, along with truck and trailer maintenance. Also problematic is communication; some truck drivers can’t speak English…it’s true. This Industry has totally changed.
Adverse weather can make it extremely dangerous for drivers, especially inattentive ones. We all know bad drivers exist, regardless of where you live. Every day there are multiple accidents and, or incidents which involve trucks. According to the transportation experts, collisions happen every 16 minutes involving semi-trucks, 18 wheelers and tractor-trailers. Often these trucks cause serious damage, if not fatal. Drivers of these large trucks are hauling heavy loads which should be safely secured, while following standard trucking regulations. Which brings me to this…more than 25% of truck drivers that are involved in crashes have had prior speeding tickets or other convictions…in fact, some of the truck drivers have had felony charges, revocations, or suspended licenses, and we have to share the road with them!
Truck drivers use to be courteous. I remember traveling (as a child) in my parents car and being able to make them wave or sound their horns; I’m not sure the drivers know what that hand signal means anymore. Sharing the road today can be tough; they won’t let you onto the highway from the ramp. I nearly ended up in a ditch because the semi-driver decided he wouldn’t let me in so began accelerating; terrible behavior with a careless attitude. A couple of weeks ago my brother-in-law was in a horrific accident involving an 18 wheeler; it’s a miracle he’s alive. It was raining that day, and he was assisting with a disabled vehicle on the interstate highway (interchange ramp); he’s a Tow Truck Driver. As he got into the cab of his truck, you can clearly see this from the dash cam of police vehicle, it shows the semi-truck SPEEDING, while losing control, hydroplaning and smashed into my brother-in-law. The force of the impact was so hard that the cab broke free of the trailer, flipping it onto its side. He ended up in the Trauma center and will spend months rehabilitating; he had serious injuries. The truck driver of the semi walked away from the crash with only a few scratches and sure didn’t show remorse of any kind. When the news station reached the Trucking firm for questions, they stated that there would be NO Disciplinary actions taken against their driver, yet he was cited for speeding and failure to control his vehicle. I was in disbelief! So that driver (in another semi-trailer) is already on our roads…where he clearly doesn’t belong. The problem is more common than not. Next time you see bad driving, look for the plate or company name and call it in; in reality, you might be saving lives on our highways today.
Make your week count.