Truckers often debate the mythical 5 to 10 MPH buffer police give when they clock you, but is it true and does it even matter?
Sure, when you’re looking at a 500+ mile journey, that extra 10 MPH sounds like a lot of time savings, but what’s the cost? Safety, fuel, tickets, bonus opportunities, etc.? More often than not, the biggest cost is your stress level and sanity. Faster-paced, aggressive driving can lead to a tremendous amount of stress to what is already a stressful job. Between dealing with the 4-wheelers, construction zones, and deadlines, drivers find themselves under constant pressure, and the increased anxiety of speeding will only lead to decreased concentration and frustration. This seasoned driver learned it first-hand.
“Back in 1994 when I started driving for Carter Express I was in the middle of 5 or 6 trucks in the left lane going WAY too fast for no good reason on M14 near Ann Arbor, Michigan when an 18 wheeler in the slow lane caught my eye.
All I remember about that truck was that it was a white tractor and it had a Driver of the Year decal under the driver’s side window. He was doing the speed limit AND HE LOOKED RELAXED! I immediately pulled into the slow lane and have remained in the slow lane, for the most part, for the last 22 years.
I hope that a driver or two over the years has seen me chilling in the right lane with a Driver of the Year decal and decided to emulate me.”
-Charlie Hopkins, 2008 Carter Express Driver of the Year
So, the next time you’re passing that right-lane-driver take a look at their face. Do they look stressed out, or do they seem to be comfortable and relaxed and enjoying the view and living the life of the road?