Friday, September 17, 2010

The Art of The Invisible

I'm sitting at my desk, looking at some mail, watching the clock and pondering what to fix for dinner. Then it hits me.

At some point, my desk, the mail, the clock and whatever it is I'll put on the plate tonight was transported by a truck. Someone hauled the logs, loaded up the van or put my milk in a tanker and then it traveled down the road until it got to me. Maybe I passed next Tuesday's breakfast or the propane that will heat my neighbor's house way too soon on my way to the office this morning. And you know, I never even noticed.

That's a compliment to the professional drivers who run alongside my car. I don't notice them. They drive safely and respectfully. So they deserve the attention that's coming their way. September 19-25 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

There's another reason to high-five your local trucking pro. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of fatal crashes that involved a commercial vehicle in Missouri fell by 49 percent - almost HALF!

It happened because roads and visual elements are better designed. Rumble stripes keep cars and trucks in the driving lanes. Missouri's law enforcement folks are on the job, making sure unsafe behavior has consequences. Emergency responders react with skill, speed and care.

But a lot of credit goes to drivers and motor carrier companies. They respect the equipment they operate and feel an obligation to look out for other travelers on the road - even when other drivers don't seem to care for their own safety.

I bet I notice every truck I meet on the way home tonight. I might even wave at them all - especially the ones who deliver to my local pizza place. On busy days like this, I'm most thankful for them!