Driving Fears Or Anxiety

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Good bye's Comment
member avatar

Ok, so let give you some history on this question... When I was a kid my real Dad used to take me and my Mom on these road trips, and while he was driving he would smoke pot and drink beer then he would drive on these two lane roads (sometimes one lane roads) that would have a wall of rock on one side and a 500 foot (or so) drop off on the other side. When you looked out the passenger window there would be nothing, it was like you were flying through the air (unless it was a gravel road, then you would feel the van sliding around as he drove).... I don't think he really cared if he killed us or not.

I'm not into traveling so I've never really left the area I live in. So I have no idea what the roads are like in other parts of the country. Obviously I wouldn't want to go to the Grand Canyon.

Now... When I go over a pass and there is a drop off on one side and a wall on the other I freak out or get really stressed (sometimes I can manage it depending on how bad it is). And it's not just drop offs, this happens with heights in general. I've yet to get my CDL or start school for it, and I don't know if I should considering this problem. Especially considering how much it cost to get one.

Is this something that Truck drivers deal with on a regular basis or can you get routes where you don't have to deal with it?

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.
Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar

Companies tend to frown on folks,scared of the truck or driving. Millions of others on the road,what makes you different? Fear is useless!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Obviously I wouldn't want to go to the Grand Canyon.

{FYI: the road to the Grand Canyon is across a flat plain!} I know what you mean!

90% of OTR driving is on Interstates that are at least 4 lanes wide plus divider and shoulders. I hope wide roads through the mountains - even the Rockies - aren't a problem. I've been on the roads of your nightmare in the California Sierras, both as a driver and passenger.

Was everybody partying along while your stoned Pa drove? Or was it just him on his own "trip"? This fear is something you'll have to work out for yourself. As I said, most of your driving will be on wide roads, even the two laners are usually wide. You should be sure to sign on with a company that does not use forced dispatch, where you have a chance to look at a map before this accept a load.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Fear is both good and bad. The good part is that it keeps you alert and aware of your surroundings but if you let it take over it can also paralyze you. If you think that the bad is what you will not be able to overcome then driving is probably not for you. First off you are sitting much higher than you do in a car and secondly that truck can and will rock from side to side.

There are some places that you will have to deliver to where the 2 lane road drops off on one side and a rock wall on the other that you will need both lanes to make it around a corner. Sometimes you have to take these kinds of roads or you could be going 100+ miles further to avoid that road. (especially out west)

It is something that you have to decide if you have the ability to overcome as one mistake because the fear got the better of you, even on an interstate , can cause someone to lose their life.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Good bye's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Obviously I wouldn't want to go to the Grand Canyon.

double-quotes-end.png

{FYI: the road to the Grand Canyon is across a flat plain!} I know what you mean!

90% of OTR driving is on Interstates that are at least 4 lanes wide plus divider and shoulders. I hope wide roads through the mountains - even the Rockies - aren't a problem. I've been on the roads of your nightmare in the California Sierras, both as a driver and passenger.

Was everybody partying along while your stoned Pa drove? Or was it just him on his own "trip"? This fear is something you'll have to work out for yourself. As I said, most of your driving will be on wide roads, even the two laners are usually wide. You should be sure to sign on with a company that does not use forced dispatch, where you have a chance to look at a map before this accept a load.

He was the only one who was drunk and stoned, I was about 9 yrs. old at the time. Thanks this really helps. I think I can manage it on 4 lane roads, and wide roads.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Good bye's Comment
member avatar

Fear is both good and bad. The good part is that it keeps you alert and aware of your surroundings but if you let it take over it can also paralyze you. If you think that the bad is what you will not be able to overcome then driving is probably not for you. First off you are sitting much higher than you do in a car and secondly that truck can and will rock from side to side.

There are some places that you will have to deliver to where the 2 lane road drops off on one side and a rock wall on the other that you will need both lanes to make it around a corner. Sometimes you have to take these kinds of roads or you could be going 100+ miles further to avoid that road. (especially out west)

It is something that you have to decide if you have the ability to overcome as one mistake because the fear got the better of you, even on an interstate , can cause someone to lose their life.

I don't think being in a truck (height wise) wouldn't bother me. I've yet to sit in one. If I were to focus on the drop off and look at the view, or look down then I would get stressed, however, If I focus on the road and the lines between the lanes I may be ok. I don't know if this is a fear or simply a lack of confidence. As much as I want to be a trucker, I hope I'm not trying to find things wrong with it, so I talk myself out of it. I guess it would boil down to when I'm with my trainer/finisher or whatever. If I can't do it then they will have to and I will be looking for a new job....

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would say if it's possible to get yourself used to heights a little bit and see how it goes. Drive some of those roads over and over if you live within a reasonable distance and see if you get used to it. Go to an amusement park and ride every ride you can see from a distance and get yourself up in the air a bunch of times. If you're just nervous a little that's no big deal. If you're shaking and screaming and freakin' out then I'd say you should find a different occupation.

I owned a tree service for a couple of years and I was the climber. In the beginning it was just terrifying. Even getting ten or fifteen feet off the ground seemed like I was a hundred feet in the air. My legs would shake so bad the spikes would want to come out of the tree. But gradually over the weeks and months I became so used to it that I was completely comfortable 50 - 80 feet in the air. I could take a nap without any trouble and I always enjoyed the view.

So if you feel you can adapt then go for it. But nobody is going to baby you along, you know what I mean? Companies are not going to re-route you because you don't like mountains. You're going to have to handle it if this is what you want to do. Because you're going to come across heights regularly. Here's a picture of the Grand Island Bridge in the Buffalo, NY region. The picture doesn't really do it justice. That bridge is super steep and so narrow you can't believe what you're seeing when you're approaching it. And of course it crossed the Niagara River which will sweep you over Niagara Falls if you let it.

grand island bridges buffalo ny

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel's Comment
member avatar

Super fun to drive across fully loaded though!! :)

Good bye's Comment
member avatar

I would say if it's possible to get yourself used to heights a little bit and see how it goes. Drive some of those roads over and over if you live within a reasonable distance and see if you get used to it. Go to an amusement park and ride every ride you can see from a distance and get yourself up in the air a bunch of times. If you're just nervous a little that's no big deal. If you're shaking and screaming and freakin' out then I'd say you should find a different occupation.

I owned a tree service for a couple of years and I was the climber. In the beginning it was just terrifying. Even getting ten or fifteen feet off the ground seemed like I was a hundred feet in the air. My legs would shake so bad the spikes would want to come out of the tree. But gradually over the weeks and months I became so used to it that I was completely comfortable 50 - 80 feet in the air. I could take a nap without any trouble and I always enjoyed the view.

So if you feel you can adapt then go for it. But nobody is going to baby you along, you know what I mean? Companies are not going to re-route you because you don't like mountains. You're going to have to handle it if this is what you want to do. Because you're going to come across heights regularly. Here's a picture of the Grand Island Bridge in the Buffalo, NY region. The picture doesn't really do it justice. That bridge is super steep and so narrow you can't believe what you're seeing when you're approaching it. And of course it crossed the Niagara River which will sweep you over Niagara Falls if you let it.

1426542589.7238.jpg

Thanks Brett, I haven't had any problems driving over bridges, at least not the ones in Seattle. It's just these narrow mountain roads I don't like (the ones where your 2 feet from going over the edge). While I've been looking into this occupation, I've read a great deal about many of the frustrations with driving a truck. However, fear of heights wasn't one of them. So I thought I would ask and see what you guys had to say. I greatly appreciate the feedback. The school I was considering claims they can get there graduates local driving jobs, so maybe that's a possibility. Unless that's just a ploy to get you in there and take there class...

I don't know... I have a lot to think about. Fortunately I currently have a job so this is not a pressing matter. Thanks again guys!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Col. O's Comment
member avatar

Now... When I go over a pass and there is a drop off on one side and a wall on the other I freak out or get really stressed (sometimes I can manage it depending on how bad it is). And it's not just drop offs, this happens with heights in general. I've yet to get my CDL or start school for it, and I don't know if I should considering this problem. Especially considering how much it cost to get one.

Is this something that Truck drivers deal with on a regular basis or can you get routes where you don't have to deal with it?

"Like one that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

...a passage from 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

Colloquially, we'd say that's whistling past the graveyard! Usually if we don't turn and face those boogeymen on our own terms, they end up mugging us from behind. Take that bull by the horns whether you take the trucker route or not! And good luck to you in tackling it.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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