What a rainy morning. Left Eugene, OR and headed out across Highway 58 on my way to Reno, NV today. Talk about raining. Pitch black and the wind was howling shaking my truck all over the road. It was raining so hard at times that the windshield wipers could barely keep up with the falling rain. But I know the highway. I’ve run across it many times over the years. So making my way in the dark and the rain was just another morning in the wide world of trucking.
It was not long though, before I come up on a car that was doing much slower than I was. Every time traffic would come at us on that dark rainy two lane highway, the car in front of me would hit their brakes and slow down. Same when the road would start getting curvy. It was very clear to me that whoever was driving that car was defiantly having a hard time handling those conditions. I’m not sure exactly why though. Could have been and elderly person with failing eye sight due to age. Or was it a young in-experienced teenager with just a few months behind the wheel. Maybe they were just tired. I do like to start early and it might have been late for their day.
Over the years I’ve seen this many times. I’ve also seen how some other drivers will handle it, in both Cars and trucks alike. Not going to pick on just one group on this point. But we as truck drivers, what is our job here? The times when we run up on slower traffic, less experienced drivers, or the elderly. drivers that for whatever reason, on purpose or totally have no clue as to what they are doing, totally get in our way. What is our job in these situations?
As you know, you can get as many answers to the question as you ask different people. And we all know what we see the answer is all too often out on the highway. Some think our job is to push this driver down the road, to pass them un-safely and to teach them how to drive. But for me the answer can only be one thing. My job is to make sure that the people I share the highway with make it home to their families. It’s just that simple.
So I laid back so my head lights did not glare in their rear view mirror. Stayed back so that my big truck did not cause them to be more concerned with how close I was pushing them thus keeping their mind where it needed to be, on the road. I did my job making sure that they had plenty of room to do as they needed to do. I made sure that they did not have to worry that a big arse trucker was about the run all over them if they did not go faster down that road then they could safely handle. That was my job as I see it and that’s what I did. It’s what I always do.
Did this hold me up? Sure it did. But that was not the important thing here. My job was keeping them as safe as I could with my limited interaction into the situation. I also helped our image as truck drivers by not shoving them down the road two feet off their rear bumper. It’s the little things that add up to the big things. And now that they are safely at home, safe with their family, maybe the things they relate about their experience on the highway that dark morning will be a good thing for truckers. Who Knows? Now go do your job.
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