The life of a professional driver isn’t easy. Just ask any over-the-road warrior or regional employee and they can quickly retell what are often daily dramas punctuated by the dotted or solid lines of interstate or dodging potholes on a backwoods highway.
Long hours, demanding shippers and receivers, the ever-unpredictable and sometimes dangerous weather, inevitable mechanical breakdowns, and an unexpected call from home with a crisis to manage from far away from all stare at drivers through bug-splattered windshields.
Through the ups and downs of reports and many data trends there are unchanging realities and a picture of day-to-day life for a driver. Some of the realities include:
• Every year, sleep deprivation causes 100,000 truck crashes.•Based on preliminary estimates for 2020, there were 4,895 large truck fatalities.
• According to the FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, mechanical defects, fatigue, and new tour routes are the most common causes of these crashes. That is to say; tire defects cause about a third.
• According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) truck driver injury statistics, drowsy drivers are accountable for around 40,000 crash-related injuries and 1,500 fatalities.
• The most common cause for other driver caused accidents is misunderstanding the abilities of a truck’s performance, like being unaware of limits on how trucks accelerate and the driver’s visibility.
• Crashes between a semi-truck and another vehicle causing injuries or fatalities happens every 15 minutes.•every year, over 500,000 truck-related crashes happen in the United States. Sadly, they end in more than 5,000 fatalities.
• Truck crashes with the highest number of deaths include accidents with passenger vehicles as the size and weight of flatbed vehicles, tanker trucks, and semi-trucks may lead to catastrophic damage especially when a large commercial vehicle isn’t adequately operated or maintained.
Let’s also not forget that over 1,000 people end up injured every day because of distracted driving crashes. That’s why at a company like FreightWorks safety isn’t just a “program” but a part of everything we do as the care of our drivers, their families and anyone they love is at the top of our list in terms of company priorities. We never forget the wives, husbands, children and pets waiting for a weary driver to pull into a driveway and utter the words, “I’m home!” Life is lived by the mile and made sweeter knowing that home time is a place for the batteries of the heart, spirit and soul to be recharged in anticipation of another trip.
The rewards of hard work is good pay, a home style working environment, lots of vocational variety and the chance to be free enough to peer through a windshield and see many examples of the most beautiful and free nation on the pale blue orb we call earth. Like explorers to a new world our professional drivers keep America moving just as the early pioneers did in a different era. While driving isn’t for everyone, for those called and gifted to be a road warrior few other jobs would ever suffice. Every daily adventure starts with the roar of an engine and ends with the satisfaction of a job well done.