Read about often misconceptions about professional truck driving
The trucking industry has existed for decades, and yet there are still some misconceptions about professional truck driving that are present in the minds of non-truck-driving people. That’s where we come in, because it’s high time we busted some of the myths about the trucking industry.
Operating a beast of a vehicle requires a lot of mental and physical strength. As a professional truck driver, you have a responsibility towards every other driver sharing the road with you.
Misconception #1: A lot of accidents are caused by truck drivers
Ok, let’s take this one step at a time.
First of all, people who want to become professional truck drivers go through more rigorous training than non-commercial drivers, and they are actually 3 times less likely to be in an accident than a person driving a non-commercial vehicle. Trucks are also involved in only 2.4% of all car accidents annually. Even when there is an accident involving a truck and a car, most of the time it happened because the people who were driving the car were in the blind spot, or they suddenly hit the breaks. Either way, it’s rarely the truck driver’s fault.
Second of all, for non-commercial drivers, driving is only a way of transportation while for professional truck drivers it’s their lifeline. It’s what pays the bills, buys the food, etc, so it’s in their interest to do their job as best as they can. We’re not saying 100% of truck drivers are equally dedicated to their job and are responsible drivers, but the vast majority are.
Finally, trucks are 4 times more likely to pass safety inspection tests than passenger vehicles and they have more check-ups, which drastically decreases the chances of having a crash due to a malfunction.
Misconception #2: You never get to see your family
Sure, professional truck drivers sometimes spend a few days on the road away from home, but far from it that they never get to see their families. It’s possible to work with your boss and your dispatcher to come up with a schedule that works for both parties, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Although nothing can replace hugs and kisses, and actual, live conversations, technology has advanced enough to give us a helping hand here. With smartphones, it’s become much easier to communicate with people back home, to send pictures and videos from your road trips, and to generally keep up with the family. With apps offering video calls, long-distance communication has advanced significantly and should be used to your advantage.
If you aren’t too crazy about the idea of being apart from your family from time to time, you could probably find some local job opportunities that will allow you to be closer to your family.
Misconception #3: Truck drivers work crazy hours
This not only isn’t true, but it actually can’t be true because of the Hours of Service (HoS) rules. The rules are pretty clear, and the government is very strict on this matter. Moreover, nowadays more and more trucks have digital solutions for time tracking, so it’s becoming harder and harder to go around the HoS rules and regulations, nor should you. The primary reason for these rules is the safety of both the driver and other people on the road, so the rules really shouldn’t be ignored.
One option is driving with a partner, so you could drive in shifts and not have to make long breaks. Another option is planning your road trip in detail, marking all the rest stops and hotels along the way, and getting some quality shut-eye there. Newer trucks have comfy cabins so you can get a few hours sleep in your truck, but make sure to check the parking situation at the stop (sometimes they don’t have a large enough parking to fit your ride).
Misconception #4: Men are better drivers than women
It’s high time this misconception just went away.
Yes, being a professional truck driver was traditionally something men were more interested in, so it’s not surprising that the majority of truck drivers are men. However, this isn’t because one sex is better at driving than the other.
Research actually suggests that female truck drivers are 3 times less likely to get in an accident than male drivers, and they are 5 times less likely to violate safety regulations. In addition, female drivers have proven to be 4 times more likely to pass their CDL exam on the first try than men.
Over time, we’re sure that these misconceptions will go away, but until that happens, we’ll make sure to keep correcting the misleading info about the trucking industry.