How Much of a Problem is Typecasting for Truckers?
Human beings have an uncanny tendency to put other human beings into groups. Some feel it helps us recognize others better, but it can also lead to some inaccuracies in the thought process.
Many truck drivers work long hours and handle their rig safely on the road. Truckers are a very important part of the economy in terms of both the service they provide and the jobs trucking creates. Drivers move nearly three-quarters of the nation’s freight and truck driving is the most popular occupation in over 30 US states.
Generalizations are coming under fire more than ever, with people battling against stereotypes and one-size-fits-all solutions. The notion of shared responsibility clashes with the independent nature of truck driving jobs. As dedicated as drivers are to showing unity within their field and projecting a good image, some negative stereotypes about trucking may still be in effect.
This goes beyond the traditional typecasting that depicts truckers as dangerous or shady. Efforts by groups in the industry have worked to reverse this trend, and show people the true said of the trucking labor force.
However, it seems the actions of some drivers and companies may set precedents and result in consequences for the entire industry. One example of this is the safety violations.
If various drivers begin exhibiting a certain problem, the entire industry may be subject to regulatory measures to avoid that problem in the future. Consider the case of sleep apnea presenting more dangers related to drowsy drivers. A few stories about the hazards presented by drivers piloting rigs without enough sleep led to concerns about hours-of-service rules. This, combined with other factors, led to the upcoming ELD mandate.
With legislation currently being pushed to allow drivers to carry firearms over state lines to protect themselves, any issue related to this could affect the entire effort. The recent story of a trucker being wounded by his own firearm discharging will certainly influence decision makers.
Drivers strive to set a standard with their behavior and the skills they apply in their line of work. While some stereotype are dying down, the collective image of drivers still affects anyone who looks to move freight for a living.