Truck drivers have had an unfair reputation for nearly as long as the industry has been alive — and that’s a long time! Perhaps that’s why these unfair myths just keep hanging around — even in these more enlightened times. The following 5 fallacies continue to follow individuals who count themselves as truck drivers, even though they are far from the truth.
1. Truck drivers are dirty
It’s easy to see how this myth came to be. Back in the day, truck driving was dirty work that didn’t always end with the opportunity to take a shower and clean up at the end of the day. Most modern truck drivers, though, pride themselves on keeping up standards of hygiene and cleanliness that rival those that everyone else maintains. This is in spite of often living — at least for a short time — in the same space that they work. With showering facilities available at many truck stops, today’s truckers all know where to find them — and how to make liberal use of them.
2. Truck drivers are messy
As mentioned previously, truck drivers often live — however briefly — in their trucks while they are on the road working. This can often conjure up images of dirty clothes piled up haphazardly and take-out dinner containers strewn about in a dirty mess. While there are truck drivers whose sleeper cabs look like this, they are definitely in the minority. Most truck drivers make an effort to be as neat and orderly as their tiny spaces allow them to be. This means that they are creative when it comes to making use of small spaces to store items they need and are diligent about cleaning up after themselves.
3. Truck drivers often kill people
There’s no shortage in movies and literature of truck drivers who are out to kill people. However, throughout history, there have actually been few killers — serial or otherwise — that have done so while they were truck drivers. In fact, truck drivers often go out of their way to protect other people and deter crime. Take the example of truck driver, Kevin Kimmel, who helped rescue a young woman who was forced into life as a sex slave and who was trafficked across state lines to do so. Without his efforts, it’s unlikely that she would be alive today.
4. There are almost no women truck drivers
Today, the trucking industry is still dominated by males but women are headed to the big rigs in larger numbers than ever before. According to Go by Numbers Global News, females comprise about 200,000 of the approximately 3 million truck drivers in the country. This is an increase of about 50 percent since 2005.
5. Truck drivers cause accidents more often
This is another myth that — when taken on the surface — seems like it makes sense. After all, the truck driver is behind the wheel of a huge 18-wheeled semi-truck that is longer, heavier and bigger than anything else on the road. In reality, though, truck drivers have been shown to be involved in less than 2.5 percent of all accidents.
What other myths have you heard about truck drivers? Have you been faced with a situation where you’ve had your reputation questioned because you are a truck driver?