Indian Trails Blog

Long Distance Driving: Take this Quiz to Find Out if It’s Right for You

Posted by Chad Cushman

Apr 6, 2015 9:00:00 AM

long-distance-drivingFor many truckers or motorcoach operators, long distance driving is much more than just a job. It’s a lifestyle. Being a long distance driver takes a certain set of skills and aptitudes, but it also takes a particular mindset — the right blend of experience, knowledge, awareness, and disposition. 

 

Take this quiz to see if you might have what it takes to become a long distance driver.

1. Choose the answer that best describes your attitude towards long road trips.

a)  Long road trips are a means to an end — a way to get from point A to point B — but nothing I would choose to do if I didn’t absolutely have to.
b)  Any road trip longer than a couple of hundred miles is barbaric. Why do you think they invented airplanes?
c)  An occasional long road trip can make for a great family vacation or a getaway with friends — especially when there are great destinations along the way, plenty of time for sightseeing, and lots to see and do off the beaten path.
d)  Wasn’t there a Willie Nelson song about that?
e)  I love ‘em. Long road trips put me in “flow” — that state of mind when you’re completely immersed in an activity, using your skills to the utmost, living in the moment . . . and time just seems to fall away.

2. When I’m behind the wheel for a long time:

a)  I get fatigued and/or restless and find I need to make frequent stops to stretch my legs, have a snack, use the restroom, or get a little exercise.
b)  I find myself getting annoyed with other drivers — especially the idiots who tailgate, change lanes without signaling, speed up and slow down, and exhibit other bad driving behaviors.
c)  I do what I can to keep my mind occupied (talk radio, books on tape) so as to avoid boredom while at the same time focusing on the task at hand.
d)  Not applicable.  I spend as little time behind the wheel as possible.
e)  I feel alert and energized—in the zone and on my game.

3.  Choose the answer that best reflects your “take” on fellow motorists who exhibit bad driving behaviors (i.e., tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, randomly speeding up and slowing down, and otherwise driving erratically).

a)  They’re either distracted, impaired, or in need of a refresher driving class. Accordingly, I’m always prepared to lay on the horn, slam on my brakes, or swerve to avoid an accident.
b)  Whatever their problem — be it road rage, unresolved power issues, or passive aggressive personality disorder — these clowns need to be taught a lesson and I wouldn’t mind being the one to teach it.
c)  Live and let live.  I mean, let’s be honest: Who among us doesn’t drive erratically?  I certainly do.
d)  I only drive to the grocery store or doctor’s office (preferably during off hours so as to avoid encountering fellow motorists).
e)  It doesn’t really matter why someone is driving badly. All that matters is that I drive defensively, steer clear of erratic drivers, and stay safe.

4.  Choose the response that best defines the interstate highway system.

a)  An obstacle course teeming with random hazards that appear without warning, filled with drivers determined to run you off the road, and overrun by construction workers with a death wish. Kind of like a video game — except it’s real.
b)  The brainchild of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, in 1956, signed into law a bill to create a 41,000-mile national system of interstate highways that would once and for all eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes, traffic jams, and all other impediments to “speedy, safe, transcontinental travel,” and which would allow for quick evacuation of target areas in the event of an atomic attack.
c)  A great place to catch up on phone calls, texts, and e-mail.
d)  What interstate highway system?
e)  A stretch of open road that feels like home.

5.  Choose the one answer that describes you best.

a)  I enjoy my own company; spending time alone is no problem for me.
b)  I love socializing and meeting new people; I thrive on group interaction.
c)  I like working independently, being in charge, solving problems, and making my own decisions.
d)  I am good at following rules and regulations, keeping records, and staying organized.
e)  All of the above.

Now, tally up your responses. Take note of how many times you chose (e) as your answer. If you’re at your best on long road trips [Question 1], feel alert and energized behind the wheel [Question 2], and feel at home on the open road [Question 3], you might enjoy long distance driving. If, in addition, you are a safe, skilled, and defensive driver who doesn’t get overly stressed out by other motorists [Question 4], you may have the temperament it takes to drive professionally. We threw in Question 5 as sort of a trick question. How could one person possess all of the traits listed in (a) through (d)? Not many people do. But think about it: Long distance drivers spend time alone (a) and with other people (b); they’re independent, “take charge” people (c) but also have to be willing to comply with a myriad of regulations (d). 

Clearly, long distance driving is not for everyone. But if you took the Long Distance Driving quiz and chose (e) more than two or three times — and if you honestly answered “all of the above” to Question 5 — you owe it to yourself to look into a career in long distance motorcoach driving.

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