So what does the word flee mean to a truck driver? I have no idea I don’t speak for all truck drivers I only speak for myself.
For me fleeing often meant getting out of town. I’d work my butt off loading the truck in the suburbs at 10PM just to get on the road by midnight and hit the country roads. There is something about country roads at night, the loneliness, the seclusion and the peace all make it easy to forget the rat race and like most big cities even Australian capital cities have a 24 hour rat race that makes escaping so darn pleasurable. Unfortunately all the peace and seclusion often comes at a price, forgetting how to interact with others. Those you do see on the road, those working the grave yard shifts in stores, and those working night shifts of any description often suffer the same problem, they interact on their own level not always a level the normal day time world understands. It does take a certain person to turn their day around 12 hours from what is normal and operate the majority of their time in the dark, but it takes an even better person to wait at home for these night shift workers and understand them. Coming off the job is often worse than staying in the job and suicide rates with shift workers is higher in this country than any other form of suicide.
There is also fleeing yourself, but explaining that to someone who has never tried to do it is nearly impossible. Some people see fleeing themselves as a bad thing, others on the outside often see it as actually trying to escape from them, or even reality, but in essence fleeing from yourself can be a necessary survival mechanism. If you spend too long inside your own head, and driving long distances alone can easily do that to a person, there are times where you just can’t get out. If you add to that the fact that so often a lonely mind is a dangerous mind it’s easier to understand why fleeing one’s mind can become important. Don’t believe me? Ask how many long haul solo drivers have envisaged their own demise behind the wheel, then ask them how many times it’s happened. Many refuse to even answer the question, let alone admit to ho often it occurs.
Another kind of fleeing and one that can quite often annoy is when a bloody animal, kangaroos, emus, camels and wombats are the worst for it, run into your truck and before the smoke has even cleared they have fled the scene. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a sadist I don’t wish harm upon any living creature but I also don’t swerve for wild life because swerving anything from 12 tonne to 80 tonne has the potential to do more damage than hitting an animal does. For those unconvinced imagine a road train (3 trailers or more) swerves off the road and into a tree, bridge pylon, or building to avoid a rabbit. Or worse consider the same truck swerving into on coming traffic to avoid the same rabbit and you are the leading car of that oncoming traffic. So with that in mind I don’t swerve, but it doesn’t change the fact that as the smoke clears after an animal strike and you’re left looking at your battered, bent and twisted truck, hopefully you’re not bleeding or broken, and you see that bloody kangaroo hopping away at that moment you will be annoyed that the kangaroo is fleeing the scene of the accident and you are left to pick up the pieces.
Well that’s is, I’m ending on a high, goodbye!