It’s a short note, barely a couple paragraphs’ worth of text on the website of the Portland (Maine) Press-Herald, yet reading yields a dictionary’s worth of words comprising questions about the average driver’s appreciation (or lack thereof) for the basic skills of the professionals in the face of growing dangers of motorist distraction, heavy traffic, unsafe following distance at speed and so much more.
What do motorists really know about the distance it takes to bring a tractor-trailer from highway speeds to a full stop? How much do they understand about the so-called “no zone” in which a trucker’s mirrors are borderline useless in efforts to spot a lurking auto?
I could keep going, but for now, a measure of well-deserved kudos to the letter’s writer, Portland resident Melissa Cilley, for making her own depth of professional appreciation publicly known.
Cilley wrote that, had a few things gone just a little differently, she very well may not be with us this fine day. She lauds the swift thinking and reaction of truckers ahead of her when distracted or otherwise erratic motorists made unsafe lane changes beside or ahead of those truckers:
I was in the car directly behind these professional drivers, as they skidded and swerved to keep their rigs under control. I smelled the burning rubber and watched in horrified amazement as they kept everyone, including me, safe.
Their training and their composure may be the reason I am alive.
Meantime, what do you think the motoring public needs to know when considering the “share the road” perspective? What is it that motorists most fail to appreciate about what they can do to ensure safety on the road and around your trucks? Overdrive is in early stages of a project through which some of your answers to that question could find their ways to the broader, general-public audience. I’ll write more about it in the coming months, no doubt, but for now, you can dial our podcast voicemail line at 530-408-6423 with your thoughts. Mobile readers, tap the call button below to call now: