When you see a commercial truck on the roadway, whether it is a large, 18-wheeler or two-axle delivery truck, take comfort in the fact that the drivers seated at the wheel are some of the safest and most highly trained drivers on the road. In honor of these professional men and women, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the trucking industry in observing National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sunday, Sept. 15 through Saturday, Sept. 21.
“There are more than three million commercial drivers in our great country, and I salute these men and women who oftentimes make personal sacrifices for their profession,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “These truck drivers are more essential to the national economy than ever before, and they deliver their loads safely and professionally every day.”
In 2012, more than 15.6 million trucks traveled through the CHP’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facilities located throughout the state. California regularly leads the nation in the number of inspections completed every year and vehicle miles traveled by commercial vehicles.
According to preliminary data from CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2011 there were more than 20,000 collisions involving commercial vehicles. Of those collisions, truck drivers were found to be at fault in less than half of them. Tragically, there were also 278 people killed in those collisions and more than 7,200 others injured.
The CHP encourages the public to continue doing its part this week and every week, by safely sharing the road with these dedicated professionals. Motorists are reminded that truck drivers may have limited ability to see smaller vehicles around them, so they should allow them more room on the roadways as they require additional stopping distance.