Drivers Getting Worse?

Topic 29915 | Page 1

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Clare S.'s Comment
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So I’m still researching trucking and weighing all my options but everyday during my commute, I think about this career. Something I’ve noticed more lately is that regular drivers seems way, way worse than ever. More often than not, no one signals to change lanes, people are constantly texting, fussing with their music, etc. This is stressful during my forty five minute commute in a Buick but I can’t imagine how obnoxious (and dangerous!) this is for truckers. Is this something you guys have noticed over the years? How do you deal with other drivers that don’t respect semis? And do you notice this bad driving trend at all among newer truckers? Thanks for your input and I always love any stories you guys want to share 👍

Banks's Comment
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Welcome Clare

Distracted driving isn't anything new and neither is people not respecting the truck.

With time and experience you get better at predicting what people are going to do. The best thing you can always do is put as much space as possible between you and every other Vehicle on the road. You want a cushion on all 4 sides. Sometimes it isn't possible to do that. There may be only 1 or 2 lanes, but you do the best you can with ya got. Slow and steady wins the race.

Moe's Comment
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You are not crazy nor are you imagining things. I see people doing stupid stuff all the time. Weaving in and out of traffic not signaling, excessive speed. It was really bad last year when the pandemic was in full swing and the roads were virtually empty, some folks used it as an excuse to go really fast.

The best thing I can say about dealing with it, dont get mad. Eventually they suffer the consequences, tickets, fines, accidents. Have to keep your cool.

Hope that helps.

So I’m still researching trucking and weighing all my options but everyday during my commute, I think about this career. Something I’ve noticed more lately is that regular drivers seems way, way worse than ever. More often than not, no one signals to change lanes, people are constantly texting, fussing with their music, etc. This is stressful during my forty five minute commute in a Buick but I can’t imagine how obnoxious (and dangerous!) this is for truckers. Is this something you guys have noticed over the years? How do you deal with other drivers that don’t respect semis? And do you notice this bad driving trend at all among newer truckers? Thanks for your input and I always love any stories you guys want to share 👍

Errol V.'s Comment
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Hi, Clare. I've been driving trucks for about six years, cars for over forty. That means I am familiar with the "before phones" time. When I'm driving both 4-wheeler and 18-wheeler vehicles I do keep an eye on other drivers, both to keep my vehicle safe, and theirs, too.

Yes, cell phones have made a huge difference in people's lives. They do create more distraction. (Myth Busters proved "serious" phone conversations while driving is the same as drunk driving.) But overall, the ratio between "good" drivers and "jerk" drivers both in trucks and cars has stayed about the same. Bottom line, no worries.

Be careful when you want to use "all". "No one signals to change lanes, people are constantly [doing other things]" is painting with a broad brush. Back in the day, eyebrows were raised when people saw other drivers doing makeup, shaving using the rear view mirror or reading a newspaper while driving. But not "everybody" did that.

As you begin your driving career, you will learn the importance of driving safety and driving safely. I did my own research using government statistics and found that actually, CDL drivers are more safe than 4-wheel drivers. Truckers drive millions of miles more than you do in daily 45 minute Buick commutes. The raw numbers of accidents may be larger, but the percentage is in favor of truckers. You can be one of these safe drivers if you keep the things you learn in CDL school in mind through your trucking career.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Gabriel F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, Clare. I'm in your shoes as a prospective trucker. As someone who drives for fun, I've noticed a lot of the same driving habits that you pointed out. One thing I will say, is that attentive and defensive driving goes a long way into ensuring you're never involved in a collision. I wouldn't let this discourage you from reaching your goals of becoming a trucker, I know I'm not. By keeping my eyes on the road and mirrors as well as reading other vehicles helps to create a "safe zone". I commute alongside semis daily and do the same for them by making myself predictable.

I do wonder if the added safety features of modern cars has made the average driver more complacent, but in my 15 years of driving cars I haven't noticed that much of a change. Keep in mind, most drivers aren't bad, the few bad apples just exacerbate the situations that make the roadways feel less safe.

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