Sadly, truck drivers are often perceived in a negative way, but Nashville country singer/songwriter and trucker advocate Lindsay Lawler wants to change that perception. Through her support for driver advocacy programs, she tries to bring awareness to the positive value that drivers bring to society.
“A lot of people see them as these big scary rigs trying to run us off the road, but what most people don’t realize is that what these men and women are transporting in their rigs are all of the things that keep our lives going,” she says.
Lindsay performed a one-hour concert at Bennett’s Driver Appreciation Celebration and was impressed with the companywide support for drivers. “Bennett really goes all out for their drivers,” she says. “I said that to some drivers, and they said, ‘Yes ma’am, you have no idea.’“
As the spokesperson for the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Highway Angel Program, Lindsay also helped launch Bennett’s new Highway Angel program in conjunction with TCA. She recognized Bennett’s first Highway Angel Dave Begley during the awards portion of Bennett’s Driver Appreciation Celebration. Lindsay shared that Dave stopped to help three drivers pull another driver from the wreckage of a terrible accident and care for him until help arrived.
Lindsay was at a Great American Trucking Show eight years ago to give a concert when she heard about the Highway Angel program, which recognizes drivers for kindness, good deeds and heroic acts while on the road.
“I loved that there was a program specifically dedicated to tell driver stories,” she says. “I knew that trucking gets a lot of negative press. Being on the road a lot myself, I have personally experienced the value that drivers bring. Tours don’t happen without drivers transporting the equipment and driving the buses.”
Lindsay wrote a song for the program that she titled “Highway Angel,” which became the program’s anthem. In the song, she describes a “Highway Angel, a beautiful stranger, who would be the light on my darkest night” and then speaks to the angel, saying, “I remember how you reached your hands through the broken glass, and how it all seemed to go so fast, I never even got your name, but how could I forget the face of a hero sent my way by God’s amazing grace.”
Lindsay travels to TravelCenters of America/Petro truck stops to perform free hour-long concerts for drivers across the country. She has also written other songs for drivers over the years based on stories they share with her.
With Chris Roberts, she wrote “I Drive” for TravelCenters of America’s Citizen Driver Program, which recognizes drivers for exemplary lifestyles. The lyrics describe life on the road, reflecting that driving is an identity as much as a profession. “Some folks would probably wanna know who’d live their life out on the road,” the song says. “Might not look like much, but it’s mine. …It’s who I am.”
In “For the Long Haul” the lyrics reflect a woman driver’s perspective, but in a way that all drivers can relate to, Lindsay explains. In the song, the woman driver says: “Nobody said it would be easy running against the wind, but you do what you love, even when it gets tough to prove yourself time and time again.”
“It’s my way of saying thank-you to drivers,” Lindsay says. “Doing these concerts help give drivers something to look forward to. I’ve heard that drivers get on their CBs to talk about where I am. I am so blessed to have a career singing and being a musician, I want to be able to give something back.”
As a result of her involvement with trucking advocacy, Lindsay has also supported Wreaths Across America, a charity organization that coordinates laying wreaths delivered by truck drivers at more than a thousand military gravesites across America. The wreath-laying occurs annually on National Wreaths Across America Day in December. Lindsay has performed at Arlington Cemetery’s ceremony for the past five years.
She also sang a song called “Standing Tall” with subtle references to truckers and veterans two years in a row at the Capitol for the Christmas tree lighting. Her performance supported the truck drivers that deliver the trees that come from a national forest each year to be at our capitol.
“Truck drivers often thank me for what I do to support the industry, and I say, ‘back at you,’” she says. “I think it is so funny they say that to me because they do so much for us. I love the trucking industry. Thank you, drivers, for all you do. We know that we don’t work without you guys.”