The trucking industry is essential to the American economy, yet the professionals working in this industry are often overlooked.
There are more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers, men and women, who get behind the wheel every day with safety first and foremost on their minds. These hard-working professionals deliver America’s food, fuel, medicine, clothing — every item in your home or office — safely and efficiently each day.
The country’s backbone
The trucking industry represents one in 16 jobs in the United States and is the top job in 29 states. In many ways the backbone of the United States economy, trucking moves 70 percent of the domestic freight.
Safety is an important part of what it means to be a professional truck driver. Millions of drivers hold that responsibility sacred, and their efforts are paying off. Today, trucking is much safer than it was a decade ago and is virtually unrecognizable compared with the image of the outlaw, renegade industry portrayed in the media in the 1970s and ’80s.
Annually, the trucking industry invests over $9.5 billion in safety. These investments include safety technologies, safety training, driver incentive pay, and compliance with safety regulations.
Today’s trucks are outfitted with technology and design elements intended to keep the truck, its driver, and cargo moving safely and efficiently. However, the most important piece of technology in the cab is — and will be for quite some time — the professional truck driver.
Professional truck drivers see increasingly dangerous behavior on the road every day, yet they continue to improve their safety record even as they move more and more of the nation’s goods.
They give up time with their families, nights of sleep in their own beds and the trappings of home to deliver the medicine to our hospitals, the food to our restaurants and the clothes to our stores.
The next time you head to the store and see the variety of products that are available on the shelves, think about the professional drivers that got them there. When you’re in your home or office, look around and realize all those items were at some point in the back of a truck before they got to where they are. When you’re out to dinner, think about the meal you’re about to eat and how the ingredients were very recently delivered by truck.
Take a moment to be thankful for the efforts of America’s truck drivers and recognize that without them, your table, your closet and the store would all be empty.