This I Believe

Glen - Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Entered on November 23, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: respect

I believe we can all be more appreciative, more courteous, more thankful and more safety-minded. There’s an acronym here: ACTS. Appreciation, Courtesy, Thankfulness, Safety.

I drive an 18-wheeler in the Southwest. My company has me over the road for 18 days and then gives me 3 days off. 18,000 of us in this Arizona-based group have been hired. We include women and men, old and young, English and Spanish-speaking, to name a few groupings. Most of us drivers run up around 10,000 miles per month.

I believe many people fail to appreciate the challenges big-rig drivers face. It is possible for more car drivers to learn to apprciate what truckers face every day, driving up to eleven hours in a 24-hour period. Many 4-wheeler drivers may want trucks to stop idling so much as diesel fumes add to our global warming. As I fuel at truck stops, I often wonder why some drivers idle when fueling. I believe truck stop owners might do their part by asking drivers to Not Idle while fueling.

Courtesy is a helpful attitude for all car and truck drivers. Most of us truck drivers turn on headlights to signal a faster truck that it’s OK to pull back into the right lane in front of us. I believe this simple jesture of courtesy is one car drivers could learn to do. It seems our highways would be a friendlier place if courtesy became a shared goal by all drivers.

I believe car drivers, who sometimes seem to get mad at trucks, could stop and reflect on the work of big trucks. Namely, think about everything we buy. It is a truck driver who has driven many miles to bring us our goods. Truck drivers could learn to be more thankful to car drivers who out-number truck drivers and who are the ones buying all the products.

Finally, I believe all drivers need to get more serious about safety. Big trucks can be moving along with up to 80,000 pounds. That’t nearly equals the weight of 35 small cars. That’s a lot of weight! Trucks cannot stop as quickly as cars. Please drivers, keep a safe distance when following other vehicles.

Pulling in front of a truck is best done once a car is 100 feet farther ahead.

As one who prays to appreciate the realities of the road, I hope we can all do a better job as we drive. It’s time to appreciate one another. It’s time to drive with greater courtesy for each another. Being thankful for all vehicles and what they allow us to enjoy, is a good thing. In closing, I believe safety must be our mutual and constant reminder, especially during holiday seasons when emotions often run high.

Clearly, we will arrive at our destinations if appreciation, courtesy, thankfulness and safety are put more intentionally in our lines of vision. This I believe.