While people around the nation stay home during the pandemic, a vital industry is keeping our economy and livelihoods intact through the supply chain. Safely delivering to homes, stores, job sites and more, truck drivers are continuing to perform their essential work every day.

A diverse group of men and women, the truck driving profession has helped keep other crucial industries open this year. Whether delivering personal protective equipment to hospitals or food to grocery stores, truck drivers are working hard to maintain our quality of life. The reliable transport of construction and manufacturing materials has also been central to keeping critical infrastructure projects on track and moving forward, helping millions of Americans keep working during this economic uncertainty.

But that essential work doesn’t only happen during difficult, unprecedented times. As key players in all levels of the supply chain, though most visibly in the final leg, truck drivers touch almost every single industry and almost certainly every life. From local drivers delivering straight to your door or regional drivers connecting the movement of consumer goods between cities to long-haul truckers transporting full loads across the country, truck drivers on the road also carry a heavy responsibility: safety. And they take that responsibility very seriously.

The culture of safety runs deep in the trucking industry. This highly regulated profession requires extensive upfront and recurring training to see that our roads are safe for every traveler. Industry vehicles are frequently updated and modernized with new technology, such as forward collision mitigation, lane departure assistance and stability control, to help truckers perform their jobs safely and efficiently. After all, an industrywide commitment to safe roadways will help see that everyone gets home safely each and every night.

As roads get more crowded with people returning to offices, school and more, take the time to acknowledge and thank the nation’s truck drivers by being a safe driver yourself. Stay out of blind spots and avoid cutting in front of them. Being a truck driver is a difficult and often underappreciated job, even though we all rely on the drivers willing to get behind the wheel. These essential workers deserve our gratitude now and every day. Let’s all get home safely.


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Drew Mitrisin is a senior public involvement specialist at Burns & McDonnell. He specializes in strategic communication, transportation, water and trucking policy, as well as internal and external stakeholder engagement.