BIG BAD TRUCKS
They make me uncomfortable. Still, what choice do I have but to share the road with them? Brings to mind those underwater scenes of mammoth whales, sharks, or other predators maneuvering alongside clouds of much smaller fish, scores of which could, in an instant, easily end up as snack food. Am I not in a similar position, essentially at the mercy of these multi-wheeled modern mastodons? Sure the trucking industry is essential, the lifeblood of our economy, and no doubt truck drivers are skilled professionals, but just how much comfort is that when, out on the highway, I try to hold my own amidst these moving mountains all around me. Why, some have tires taller than my vehicle! Encased in my standard-sized car I am dwarfed by their magnitude.
Signs typically instruct trucks to keep to the right lane on highways, but many ignore such restriction. And so they’re everywhere and bent on getting ahead, no doubt regarding drivers like me as nuisances to be tolerated, intimidated, and in various ways pressured to get out of the way. Spot one in your mirror coming up swiftly from behind and even without a withering blast from his horn
you’ve no choice but to act. Either speed up or clear out of the lane, pronto. And as he flies on be prepared for that terrifying blast of air that sends your car into uncontrolled lateral sway, even as it moves forward.
Consider these additional dangers. Settled in behind a truck is equivalent to facing a wall. There’s no way to see past it, little chance to anticipate or prepare for what may be ahead. I worry too, whether the driver, seated in his lofty perch, even sees me or will take care to avoid any move that might put me in jeopardy. On a rainy day I’m concerned about the water shooting off his tires, often a blinding spray with an intensity to rival my local car wash. There’s added anxiety when I spot a highway sign warning of a steep descent and urging truckers to test their brakes. Visions of a huge truck in virtual free fall causes me to speed up at such times and prompts frequent mirror checks, ever on the lookout for potential runaways.
Not that we automobile drivers are without certain advantages. We’re easily more maneuverable than they are and generally speedier. Who doesn’t look forward to a hill, the opportunity to leave them behind? Same advantage after a light change; quick acceleration is generally beyond the capacity of most trucks. And remember, truckers are not necessarily our adversaries; indeed some are not unaware of our needs. Often enough they’ll move to the right upon realizing we wish to pass. On many an occasion they’ve motioned to me, signaling that it is safe to do so. At night most will promptly dim their lights once I’ve moved out in front of them. Coexistence you see is entirely possible; they’re not unwilling to share the highway with the likes of me and my fellow drivers.
Still, who isn’t much happier and more relaxed when driving along a road that does not allow these rigs? Who is not delighted to see them pulling off the highway into a truck stop or observe drivers napping along the side of the road? Sure they’re entitled to make a living, but I much prefer driving along without them; have enough to worry about contending with vehicles my own size.