Top 5 trucker stereotypes and how to deal with them
Gone are the days when truckers were “Knights of the Highway”. In the early ’90s, people’s impression of them began to deteriorate. To some extent, this was facilitated by various movies like “Joyride” and “Breakdown”, “Maximum Overdrive” and “Thelma and Louise”, “Over the Top” and “Black Dog”, and even Tim Burton’s “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”. But unfortunately, some truckers also add fuel to the fire. Their appearance and actions have given rise to hurtful and usually unrealistic stereotypes about the trucking industry. Here are 5 common trucker myths we’re sick of.
The dirty and unhealthy truckers
What do most people think a typical trucker looks like? A man over 50 years old, overweight, dirty, and unkempt. Because of their lifestyle, they rarely shower or change their clothes, and eat only junk food. And while you can actually meet these truckers, most of them take proper care of their hygiene, do exercises and try to stick to a healthy diet.
Not all truckers are rough, aggressive, and foul-mouthed. But you can hardly believe it if you turn on a CB radio to channel 19. Unfortunately, this useful device has become a conduit for lecherous and racist jokes, swearing, and shouting. That’s why most truck drivers just leave the CB radio off.
Only men are truck drivers
Despite the fact that it is still a male-dominated industry, the situation changes every year. According to the Women In Trucking Association, in 2021, women make up 7.8 percent of all truckers. There are 262,392 female drivers. And by the way, it’s not true that men are better drivers than women. It all depends on the person.
Truckers are uneducated
This stereotype is really further from the truth. Most of them went to CDL schools to advance their learning. Truckers must have great knowledge of how their trucks work and must be highly skilled to run them. Are you still thinking that someone became a truck driver just because they couldn’t get a higher education? Then remember that a lot of people choose trucking as a second or third career. Therefore, among them, you can meet former bank employees, doctors, cops, teachers, and CEO’s.
Truckers are a menace on the road
In 2018, semi-truck accidents accounted for about 6.5% of the total number of accidents. Because for professional truck drivers, safety is a top priority. Of course, accidents involving large trucks attract much more media attention. But in reality, truckers are some of the safest drivers on the road. Especially when you consider that it is really difficult to find a job with a bad driving record.
How can truckers change these misconceptions?
Every truck driver should start with himself/herself. Be a professional, maintain your truck, wear clean clothes, drive safe, be positive and polite even during tough times. Be proud that you are a truck driver and act like you are really a “knight of the highway”. Together we can restore respect and reputation to the trucking industry.