This week, from September 12th to September 18th, in addition to Construction Appreciation Week, we’re celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. This annual awareness week was founded in 1998 by the American Trucking Associations to honor the vital workers to the American economy. But this year, more than any other year, our truck drivers deserve a bit more celebrating.
There are more than 3.5 million hardworking men and women who bring our goods and materials to us securely and efficiently every single day. Without them, our daily lives simply couldn’t function the way they do. Think about it: nearly every good consumed in the U.S. is placed on a truck at least once, from food to pharmaceuticals. In some cases, trucks are the only option for transport. According to American Trucking Associations, more than 80% of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking to deliver the goods and commodities they need.
The need for skilled truck drivers was made all the more apparent when Americans shifted their shopping habits from mostly in-store to mostly online in the hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Since March of 2020, “safe driving” has had a whole new meaning. These men and women have helped keep our economy moving safely throughout the pandemic, delivering precious goods to every corner of the country.
While we all have become even more grateful for CDL drivers safely delivering what we need right to our doorstep, the average American may not realize the important role drivers play in building our nation’s infrastructure. They take on the responsibility of delivering all the necessary materials to various construction sites. Their work plays an essential role in moving projects forward, from new hospitals to roads, and everything between.
No matter what they’re delivering, our everyday lives are able to run smoothly thanks to the safe driving of our truck drivers. All truck drivers must be fully licensed before hitting the road. Truck drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License or “CDL” to “operate large, heavy or placarded hazardous material vehicles for commercial purposes in the United States.” Given this skilled licensure, “truck drivers” are often referred to as “CDL drivers.”
The trucking industry as a whole is committed to keeping our roadways and their drivers safe in every way. According to ATA’s Safety Investment Study 2016, every year, the trucking industry invests at least $10 billion in safety, funding important initiatives like advanced safety technologies, safety training, driver safety incentive and safety regulation compliance. This commitment has already made an impact. According to a recent study, from 1980 to 2016, the large truck-involved fatal crash rate per 100 million miles dropped 69%.
Not only is the trucking segment of the construction industry committed to safety today, but it’s also focused on the future wellbeing of the world. Historically, this might not have been the case. But today, making earth-conscious choices is top of mind. In fact, according to American Trucking Associations, a new truck constructed today produces one-tenth of the fine particle emissions and smog-forming NOx emissions as a similar truck manufactured less than ten years ago. All the green initiatives currently set in place are projected to save up to 2 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons by 2027.
Let’s all commit to showing our support for truck drivers and all they do for us throughout National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. You can show your thanks by:
- Posting your thanks or positive story on social with #NTDAW2021.
- Hang “thank you” signs at nearby truck stops.
- Gifting some new gear that the truck drivers in your life will enjoy. Click here for a few favorites.