That truck driver you flipped off? Let me tell you his story.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/126619568.html#.TjliGe_CsCo.reddit

I found this an incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking article. LIke,I don’t even have anything I’d like to add. I do recommend clicking on the link to read the rest of it, however

“Let me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over.

….

You can’t tell by looking at him, but two hours ago he took a call informing him that his only sister was involved in a car accident, and though everything possible was done to save her, she died. They had flown her to a trauma hospital in Detroit, but it was too late.

He hadn’t seen her since last Christmas, but they talked on the phone every week. The load he is pulling is going to Atlanta, and he will probably not be able to get to the funeral.

His dispatcher will do everything possible to get him there, but the chances are slim. So he has hardly noticed your displeasure at having to slow down for him. It’s not that he doesn’t care; he’s just numb.

Everything you buy at the store and everything you order online moves by truck. Planes and trains can’t get it to your house or grocery store. We are dependent on trucks to move product from the airport and the rail yards to the stores and our homes.

Every day, experienced and qualified drivers give it up because the government, the traffic and the greedy companies involved in trucking have drained their enthusiasm for this life.

They take a job at a factory if they can find it, and are replaced by an inexperienced youngster dreaming of the open road. This inexperience leads to late deliveries, causing shortages and higher prices at the store, and crashes that lead to unnecessary deaths.

It is even possible that is what led to the death of this driver’s sister.

This is a true story; it happened last week. The driver’s name is Harold, and I am his dispatcher.”

Dan Hanson, of Belle Plaine, Minn., is a fleet manager.

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