Don’t Believe the Truck Driver Stereotypes: Common Myths Debunked
Trucking companies in California would not be successful if it weren’t for their drivers. Commercial trucks travel along all major freeways, highways and roads in this country. The following are common myths that people hold about truck drivers and why such myths are just that – myths.
Myth: Truck drivers are dangerous and cause most accidents in this country.
This is probably the biggest myth that people have about truck drivers. People tend to hold onto these assumptions and pass them along as fact. In fact, trucks are 3 times less likely to be involved in an accident than regular motor vehicles. Commercial trucks are involved in only 2.4% of all accidents. Part of the problems is that accidents involving commercial trucks receive a disproportional amount of media coverage than those only involving passenger vehicles. The sight of an occasional truck accident to any driver of a passenger vehicle also supports the wider, incorrect assumption that truck drivers are dangerous and cause lots of accidents.
The trucking industry and its drivers are actually closely regulated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates nearly all aspects of the trucking industry. These aspects include the number of hours they may drive, the highways and roads they may drive on, and also may have speed limits depending on the particular state in which the truck is traveling. Truck drivers are certainly more regulated than other drivers found on the roads and highways of this country.
Myth: Truckers use a lot of drugs
Drug and alcohol use is strictly monitored in the trucking industry. The FMCSA requires that companies randomly test their drivers. Typically, 10% of drivers take alcohol tests, while 50% are tested for drug use. If a driver tests positive for either of these, he/she is not allowed to drive.
Myth: Truck drivers are poor
While truck drivers may not make as much as other jobs and professions, it is possible for them to make a comfortable living. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of May 2010, the average U.S. salary for a truck driver was $37,770. The top ten percent of drivers earned more than $57,480. The bottom ten percent earned less than $24,730, but the low number probably represents entry-level drivers.
Of course, like with any other type of job, there are the few individuals who are the exception. But most trucking companies in California and other parts of the country employ and hire drivers who are working hard to try and earn a living. There are so many activities that take place within the trucking industry – shipping, cross docking, warehousing – but none of it would even be possible if it weren’t for the well-trained and knowledgeable truck drivers.
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