I was listening to an interview recently with a truck driver that provided some context as to why truck drivers seem so prone to road rage when cut off in traffic. Depending on the speed that a truck is going at, if they have to suddenly hit the brakes to avoid a collision, their tires can be stripped so badly as to no longer be safe to drive on. On large trucks this can be tens of thousands of dollars to replace. For an owner-operator, still paying off their truck, and operating on margins of 5%, that can be the end of their business.
Truck drivers will also often put themselves in danger to save motorists. When a car is on the wrong side of the road heading straight at them (a common problem with backpackers from overseas, travelling on outback roads where they may not see any other traffic for hours at a time to realise they’re on the wrong side) the truck driver will often do everything they can to avoid the car, even if that means going head on into a tree and almost certain death.
It’s little surprise that truck driving is the most hazardous profession in Australia. Even more dangerous than policing, emergency services or the armed forces.