I’m always glad when Truck Driver Appreciation Week rolls around every September. It’s one short week each year when we try our best to thank the drivers across the country who make our world possible.
In honor of Truck Driver Appreciation Week, I’ve come up with seven reasons why you should thank truck drivers.
1. They keep a tradition that spans generations alive with semi-truck air horn honks
Today, tablets, phones, and other electronics dominate the backseat and often keep kids focused on a screen rather than looking out the window during road trips.
But what’s one thing that consistently gets kids to pay attention to the world around them? Looking for and asking truck drivers to blow their air horns. Like so many truckers over the years, today’s truck drivers still watch for the familiar arm pump action and indulge their unspoken wish whenever it’s safe and possible to do so.
Thank a truck driver for continuing a tradition that thrills kids (and parents too).
2. Truck drivers draw from their experiences to garner success
Driving a truck across the country is bound to lead to a unique view of our world and life in general. Plenty of truck drivers have used their experiences to reach their goals outside of the industry. Can you guess which of the following actors drove trucks before they were famous?
- Charles Bronson
- James Cameron
- Chevy Chase
- Sean Connery
- Rock Hudson
- Richard Pryor
- Richard Pryor
- Viggo Mortensen
- Liam Neeson
- Elvis Presley
If you guessed all of them, you’re right! I think that says something about the type of people who work as truck drivers. To me, it says they’re willing to chase their dreams and are capable of achieving them—whether it’s to successfully run a business or become a movie star.
Thank a truck driver for being brave enough to pursue their dreams.
3. Drivers help place three million wreaths on veteran graves every year
It’s true, without truck drivers Wreaths Across America wouldn’t be possible. Every year, truck drivers deliver wreaths so thousands of volunteers can remember fallen U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on graves in over 1,200 participating locations across the country. And that’s just one of the many ways truck drivers give back to the causes they care about.
Thank a truck driver for supporting charities all across the country.
4. Truck drivers see us through the toughest storms
From hurricanes and snowstorms to wildfires and floods, all of these natural disasters have one thing in common: they need relief efforts. Without truck drivers to deliver much needed supplies to devastated areas, bad situations would be much worse. From coast to coast, they’ve seen us through Katrina, Irma, Harvey, Snowmageddon, and so much more.
Thank a truck driver for seeing us through the toughest storms.
5. They’re on the road 14 hours a day for weeks at a time
Those of us with office jobs work between 8-12 hours a day on average. I know the days I have to work 14 hours are rare—not to mention completely exhausting. I can’t imagine putting in 14-hour days on a regular basis. It’s no wonder that both the CDC and OSHA report higher rates of injury and illness for truck drivers than other industries. But it’s their dedication that delivers the products we need every day.
Thank a truck driver for the long hours and the time away from home.
6. Truck drivers invest in safety day in and day out
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, from 1980 through 2014, the number of large truck-involved fatal crash rate per 100 million miles dropped a remarkable 74%. In fact, trucks have an overall crash rate 28% lower than that of other vehicles.
That’s in large part to the extensive driver safety training that all drivers must go through. And on a daily basis, their willingness to plan—for fuel stops, weigh stations, road construction, and weather—all make a big difference in saving lives on our roads.
Thank a truck driver for focusing on safety day in and day out.
7. They move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually
Our country’s truck drivers truly keep our world moving—after all, nearly 71% of all freight moved in the U.S goes on trucks. Thinking of just about any product I use on a daily basis—from my toothbrush to my supper—they all rely on truck drivers. A world without truck drivers is a truly scary place.
Thank a truck driver for delivering the products that keep our world moving.
Truck drivers are the real heroes in today’s world
While the top box office hits feature heroes with superpowers and capes, in my mind truck drivers are the true stars. They deserve to be recognized during Truck Driver Appreciation Week and every week of the year.
Thank a truck driver for the miles they give the rest of us.