American Trucking Associations has kicked off a weeklong celebration of the trucking industry’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers by formally announcing the start of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Running September 10-16, the celebration provides the trucking industry an opportunity to highlight the efforts of professional truck drivers.

“This week was created to commemorate and support the industry professionals who work daily to deliver America’s goods,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Truck drivers are hardworking men and women who practice safety on the roads and serve as the faces of our industry. These drivers improve our collective quality of life by making personal commitments to safety and delivering our critical goods like medicine, food, building supplies and clothing.”

More than 80% of US communities rely exclusively on truck drivers to deliver goods and commodities, including the most remote towns and territories that are unreachable by other modes of transportation. Recently, thousands of professional truck drivers have assisted and continue to assist the relief efforts for places impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, serving as critical responders to the disaster.

In the midst of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week events, ATA will work in cooperation with the American Logistics Aid Network and FEMA to carry out storm relief efforts.

State trucking associations, industry suppliers and motor carriers of all sizes are set to host appreciation events for the men and women who safely deliver more than 70% of all freight tonnage in the United States. Additionally, America’s Road Team Captains and Share the Road professional truck drivers will take to the airwaves September 12 for live satellite broadcasts from the Nashville terminal of TCW Inc. ATA First Vice-Chairman Dave Manning, president of TCW Inc, will also participate in the morning broadcasts and speak alongside the professional truck drivers about the important role that drivers play in the nation’s economy.

ATA is asking the trucking industry to engage their communities in this week’s celebration of truck drivers. Public officials, community leaders, members of the media and local businesses can all play a role in helping to better understand the work that truck drivers do in safely moving the economy each day.

Highway safety is improved when the motoring public acknowledges the difficulties of driving a truck and the limitations of large commercial vehicles. In support of this effort, Trucking Moves America Forward, the trucking industry’s image movement, is partnering with state trucking associations to run billboard advertisements along key highways to thank truck drivers for their service.