National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman departed Wednesday on a two-day, four-state journey from Washington, D.C. to Louisville, Ky., to get a cab's-eye view of the commercial truck industry.
Chairman Hersman, who holds a commercial driver's license, is traveling to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, where she will honor America's professional women truck drivers at the second annual Women in Trucking Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event on April 2. Her journey involves traveling alongside five different professional big-rig drivers. The ride-along will give Hersman a close-up view into the daily experiences of professional truck drivers as they navigate the nation's highways.
Hersman left the NTSB headquarters the afternoon of March 30 in a 2011 Kenworth T660 heavy-duty, long-haul tractor trailer driven by Stephanie Klang, a professional driver for Con-way Truckload. Along the route, Hersman will ride with four other professional drivers from WIT member companies, including Schneider, UPS, U.S. Xpress and Walmart.
In addition to participating in the Salute, Hersman will observe a Level 1 roadside inspection at a Maryland weigh station, visit a travel center in West Virginia, meet with West Virginia and Kentucky transportation officials and safety advocates at two separate roundtables. She will host two listening sessions, one with industry safety officials and one with professional drivers from across the industry.
The Salute will begin at 1 p.m. EDT on April 2 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. This year's event is expected to draw twice the number of attendees as the 2010 Salute and hopes to break the Guinness World Book of Record's current entry for the largest gathering of female professional drivers - 415 set in the Netherlands in 2004.