Truck drivers have their own appreciation week every year during the second week in September, and for good reason. Truckers make their living driving across the country delivering freight, goods, and services to everywhere they’re needed, and they are needed just about everywhere. But maybe you’re still not convinced of how amazing they are. Maybe memories of a bad commute come to mind when you think of them. In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, here are 9 incredible facts about truckers and the trucking industry that might make you think twice before honking at them on the freeway:
- In 2019 alone the trucking industry hauled nearly 73% of all freight in the US, a total of 11.84 billion tons of goods.
- Truck drivers drive an estimated 140 billion miles per year, with the average trucker driving up to 650 miles per working day.
- EPA regulations have reduced exhaust output from semi-trucks and off-road equipment by 95% over the last 19 years – today it would take 60 trucks to equal the emissions from one truck in 1988.
- The trucking industry is worth over three-quarters of a trillion dollars ($791.7bn) and accounts for over 80% of the nation’s freight bill.
- It is also one of the most diverse industries in America, with minorities holding more than 40% of trucking jobs.
- Truckers account for a staggering 12.8% of all fuel purchased in the US.
- One out of every 14 American jobs belong to the trucking industry, which employs more than 9 million people.
- As we speak, there are 15.5 million trucks driving on US roads and highways.
- The BLS identified truck driving as the most dangerous job in the US, more dangerous than being an airline pilot, construction worker, or police officer.
Keep on Trucking
We are still facing several supply chain and logistics challenges across the nation in response to Covid-19, and truckers are some of the most essential unsung heroes out there. They are the ones keeping the hospitals and grocery stores stocked and making sure masks get into as many hands as possible. They’ve been doing this since way before the pandemic, in fact.
So if you see a semi-truck temporarily blocking your way during National Trucker Appreciation Week, slow down for a minute yourself to think about how we all depend on them making their deliveries on time and safely. Maybe the brief delay is a good time to appreciate what they do to keep communities supplied and thriving. Give them the pull-down signal so they might blow their horn in gratitude.