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Keep Our Truckers on the Road During the COVID-19 Pandemic: How You Can Help

In the best of times, driving a big truck is a difficult job.

A professional driver deals with long hours, back-breaking physical labor, and complicated work rules. Often, they drive on unfamiliar roads and in strange cities. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, truck drivers are now dealing with additional stress and confusion.

What You Can Do, Especially Now

Give trucks a little extra room. Understand that, during this emergency, truck drivers are most likely working extra hours and may be tired. Remember that everyone is working extra hard and may be frustrated. Remember that trucks that are turning, backing up, or maneuvering take a lot of room.

Adhere to General Safe-Driving Rules

Giving special attention to general driving safety rules will help our truckers do their job safely and stay on the road. This is especially important now, as they are transporting an exponential number of vital items that could save lives. They are also working overtime to ensure our access to daily supplies.

  • Don’t text and drive.
  • Don’t drive drunk.
  • Don’t drive when you are very tired.
  • Don’t follow trucks closely.
  • Don’t cut in front of trucks.
  • Don’t get behind backing trucks.
  • Slow down in bad weather.
  • Stop and rest if you are tired.
  • Give turning trucks extra room.

Understand the Function of Truck Mirrors

Mirror placement on trucks is designed to give drivers a view of the road on both sides of the vehicle. Truck mirrors give a good view of the road while the truck is driving straight ahead. The instant that a truck starts to turn, the mirrors stop being effective. You essentially become invisible to the truck driver.

  • If a truck is making a right turn at a corner, and you attempt to pass on the right, the truck will hit your car.
  • A truck driver can’t see directly behind a trailer. If you pull behind a backing truck, the truck will hit your car.

A Word about Stopping Distance

You need to know that at 55 mph on dry pavement, it can take 600 feet to stop a truck. That’s the length of two football fields.

Additional Helpful Practices

There are also several personal practices that can help make the lives of truckers a bit less stressful. To help:

  • Stay away from truck stops and their stores. Do not use them to procure needed items for your home or family. Increased traffic at these facilities will provide opportunities for the disease to spread and wipe out supplies that truckers need to be able to find during quick stops on the road.

  • Do not hoard anything. Fight the fear that you’re going to run out of supplies. This won’t happen as long as truckers are moving. Buy just the needed amount so delivered amounts can be shared with your community before the next delivery. And if you’ve already stockpiled large amounts of stuff, use that until you really need more.

  • Do everything you can to keep yourself and your family healthy so we can return to normal lives sooner, truckers included. This especially includes good hand-washing and social distancing practices.

Final Thoughts

The trucking/logistics system in the United States is stretched very thin. There is currently no extra capacity. Professional truck drivers are being asked to take up the slack and everyone is working very hard. Giving a truck some extra room will make everyone safer.

Driving safely is important at all times. While truck drivers are working more hours, under increased stress, this is a good time to be extra safe.

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