Now that the holiday season is here, more and more vehicles are clogging the nation’s roadways, presenting an even tougher job for truck drivers on the road.  Zonar, a producer of smart fleet management technology, has compiled a list of the 10 most dangerous roads you should consider avoiding this time of year – and even the rest the year.

During the holiday season, there are about 36% more vehicles on the road, according to Zonar. Most of the increased traffic is made up of passenger cars (23%), delivery fleets (10%), and people-carriers, such as buses (3%), according to Zonar.  Winter weather and decreased daylight add to the stress of holiday travel. All this makes it even more dangerous for truck drivers.

Knowing which stretches of road are the most dangerous for trucks can help potentially decrease your chances of getting into an accident and help keep other drivers safe – by adjusting routes or schedules, varying driving times and loads, or increasing inspections and checkpoints.  And, you might be surprised to find that that there are roads list from every region of the country

According to the DOT, here’s a list based on total accident volume between 2013 -2016:

  1. I-10 in Alabama
  2. I-95 in Florida
  3. HWY-75 in Idaho
  4. I-40 in Arkansas
  5. US-1 in Florida
  6. M-20 in Michigan
  7. I-80 Nebraska
  8. HWY-5 in Colorado
  9. I-70 in Maryland
  10. SC-35 South Carolina

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Image from Zonar.


Heather Hogeland never aspired to be a truck driver. She grew up the middle of three girls, the tomboy of the bunch.

“In the ‘60s and ‘70s, girls didn’t dream about driving a truck,” she says.But her father, Robert, had an owner operator trucking job, so Hogeland was destined for the same career all along. It was her father who taught her how to drive a truck—and he taught her well. In 1976 at the tender age of 19, Hogeland got a CDL trucking job.

In looking at Hogeland’s life, she followed in her father’s footsteps—and her mother followed in hers.“I was an inspiration to her, not the other way around. That’s kind of unique,” Hogeland says of her mother, Doreen, who took up truck driving in her 50s. “I couldn’t have done it without her, because she raised my son for me.”

Heather and Roger in 1983

Mom takes up truck driving

Hogeland and her husband, Roger, are retired team drivers who have been married for 33 years. In their heyday, they ran hard from south to north and everywhere in-between.

Doreen observed their lifestyle from afar and wanted in on it. “She saw Roger and me and thougt she wanted to do it too,” Hogeland says. “My dad was shocked. He wasn’t real happy with the plan.”

By the early 1990s, Doreen came into an inheritance. She used it to make a down payment on a brand new Volvo truck. And despite her husband’s protests, in 1992, Doreen earned her CDL permit and started driving. Leased through Countrywide, a reefer carrier out of southern California, and later to Southern Star Transport, Doreen and Robert began running team together up to Toronto, Ontario.

Doreen Drove With Her Furry Companion

Great memories

While Robert and Doreen rarely ran with their daughter and son-in-law, but it was a wild time when they ran together. Hogeland recalls the tales with a laugh.

“Mom and I were running down the road one night, Mom was following me and we were speeding,” Hogeland recalls. “People would say things over the radio and we would have fun. I’d say, ‘Watch your language, my momma is right behind me!’ And my dad would shout to my mom, ‘Do you know how fast you’re going?’ I love the funny memories.”

Hogeland also recalls that her mother’s sense of direction lacked. “My mom got lost going into Cleveland every time,” Hogeland says. “And she ran into Cleveland every week. My dad would drive with her and he never got any sleep because she got lost. Following directions wasn’t one of her priorities.”

Doreen passed away in 2005 at age 69.

Hogeland reminisces about her warmly even now, recalling her as a woman who never met a stranger. Who located stragglers at truck stops and invited them home for dinner. Who always put family first.

“I’m so grateful for those times that we had,” Hogeland says. “My mom taught us that humans aren’t perfect, but they are human. She was about as imperfect as they come, but she taught me how to forgive. And that’s one of the most important lessons you learn in this world.”

To celebrate Mother’s Day we want to know if your trucking job brought you closer to a parent, too? Connect with us here and share your story.


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pets for truck drivers

For many drivers, the long hauls wouldn’t be possible without their trusted furry companions by their sides. But some dogs and cats can get uncomfortable and anxious in traveling such long distances in a confined space. Charles W. Brant of How Stuff Works: Animals shares some tips to keep your pet happy and comfortable while driving.

Even if you don’t need to confine your pet, bring the crate. Often, they find comfort in having their own secluded and personal space. In addition, consider bringing a small bed or similar padding, or even a few items of your own: maybe an old T-shirt or sweatshirt. These can bring a familiarity to animals.

Have different kinds of treats and toys for your pets. Animals need to be occupied just like us. If you have a dog, bring a bone or some other sort of chew toy. For a cat, bring a small scratchpad or toy mouse. Toys will help entertain them, and prevent them from getting restless and agitated.

When you take a stop, make sure to take them out of the truck as well. Even cats can sometimes use the opportunity to stretch their legs. Consider taking more stops than usual if your pet is very active.

And of course, talk to them and check on them. They don’t want to be lonely either.

Thirty years ago there were a handful of lady drivers in this male-centric industry. Those tough and determined ladies paved the way through their own blood, sweat and tears for the thousands of lady drivers out on the roads today. Still, it is fair to say that the truck driving industry is very much a man’s world. Even with more women drivers going over-the-road year after year, men still make up the largest demographic of drivers.

Our lady drivers should be celebrated every day for the fantastic work they do in this often challenging and many times lonesome career.

But today I want to recognize and celebrate another group of ladies: the ladies who support their trucker.

The ones who stay at home raising the kids, working a 9-to-5 job, paying bills and all the while eagerly awaiting the return of the trucker they love so much. The ladies who give up their home life to live in a 72-inch box for months at a time to be with their trucker.

The ones who cook and clean both at home and in the truck, wash clothes at home and at truck stops, and the ones with that shower bag on hand, ready to run into a truck stop shower whenever the constantly ticking clock allows. No more soaking in a hot bath. No more stretching out on a large bed. This is life on the road.

The ladies who support their trucker are more valuable than diamonds, and tougher than diamonds, too. It can be a lonely, heart-tiring time sitting at home waiting for the sound of that diesel engine to pull up or longing to hear from the one you love when they are hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

Many moons ago I was a military wife. While the men were out to sea or abroad, the women held the proverbial camp back home. The trucker wife is the same.

They say that behind every good, hard-working man is a strong woman.

While the driver is busy planning routes and dealing with brokers, dispatchers, shippers and receivers, the ladies help by keeping an eye on the weather. They keep up with the news in case there is trouble in an upcoming city.

In addition, they remind their trucker to sleep, eat, shower, drink enough water, take his medicine and get out and walk. They take care of the bills at home, the kids and the house. While he is busy working (and make no mistake, it is no small task to drive a truck) the ladies are busy getting things done that need doing every day.

These ladies are mom, grandmother, wife, chef, maid, secretary, navigator, organizer, planner, nurse, commander, lover, companion, comedian, employee, boss, chauffeur, teacher, inspector, seamstress, therapist and much more. On any given day they wear multiple hats, sometimes at the same time. These are the ladies who sacrifice themselves so that their driver is healthy, clean, full and safe. Only then, when everything else is taken care of, do these women seek to indulge themselves, if they have the energy.

We don’t deny the men who take care of their truck driving ladies deserve credit, too.

But today, it is about recognizing the love and dedication of the women who support their truck driver. These are the ladies behind the scene, whose everyday tasks often are taken for granted. I want you all to know, we see you, and we appreciate all you do.

Sierra Sugar is a blogger who rides along with her fiance, truck driver Allen Wilcher. Follow her blog, Sweet Life of Sierra Sugar, or catch her on Twitter here.

March is Women’s History Month. Drive My Way is proud to highlight women in the trucking industry who inspire and lead by their example. Join our community here to get these and all of Drive My Way’s stories in your newsfeed.


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