When you see a truck driver, what is your initial reaction to him or her? Do you say hello to them or avoid them? Do you respect them or resent them? Are you afraid of them? What do you tell your children about the big rigs going down the road beside you, and the driver within?
A common misconception when it comes to the professional truck driver is the fear that is the result of stereotypes surrounding them. It certainly does not help when someone publishes that the FBI has determined a large segment of the trucking community to be serial killers (Morrison, 2010).
According to the FBI, at least 200 suspects who they believe are responsible for disappearances and bodies at truck stops and points between our highway knights are truck drivers. In an effort to alert the public on the dangers of highway murders discovered in states like Texas and Oklahoma, truck drivers unwittingly became the target of distrust and fear. In addition, warnings to new teenage drivers about how to avoid the big rigs on the roads have an air of prejudice when it comes to the trucking community. For more information, go to http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/april/highwayserial_040609.
At carinsurancerates.com, there is such an article doing just this. “Nobody particularly likes sharing the road with semi-trucks. They're slow, they impair your visibility, and their drivers can be obnoxious. But these concerns are especially strong among young people and new drivers.” This can be viewed at http://www.carinsurancerates.com/news/162-sharing-the-road-with-big-rigs-a-guide-for-young-drivers-to-stay-safe.html.
Truck driver relationships with the general public can be greatly improved if the general public was not bombarded with advertisements or prejudice that unfairly targets them. Every member of society has a job or career. The truck driver is not an exception to this ideal. We know of several infamous serial killers over the years who were not truck drivers. A person does not have to be a truck driver to be obnoxious. I am sure that everyone can think of at least two people in their respective companies who fit this description. Finally, truck drivers are members of our society. They have parents, siblings, spouses and children like the rest of us. The only difference is that they spend their careers on the road. Let’s rethink the truck driver image and welcome them back into society where they belong.
Morrison, Blake. Along highways, signs of serial killings. USA Today. 10/5/2010. Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-10-05-1Ahighwaykiller05_CV_N.htm.