The trucking industry is celebrating the consistent increase of female drivers, but there remains one concern that must be addressed: 60% of women report they have felt unsafe at least once in the past year, 20% of them have been threatened by a weapon, and the issue of sexual harassment is a statistical nightmare for female drivers. As a response to polls and research primarily completed by Women In Trucking, driving companies are addressing the issue aggressively, finding some practical measures to help combat those disconcerting numbers.
Cab-sharing: Once a driver has acquired her CDL, the training process begins; it’s time to cab-share. This means that the new driver will accompany an experienced driver for a period of time to ensure that she feels comfortable on the road. The two will not only drive side by side, they will sleep in a cab together as well. A 2022 WIT survey revealed that 46% of women had unwanted sexual advances made during the training process of cab-sharing.
In order to protect women in this industry, the following corporate policies are encouraged:
Same-gender training: When at all possible, pair females with females and males with males. 62% of women polled by WIT agreed that same-gender training would make a significant difference in their comfortability on the road.
Considering that female truck drivers remain a small population (now about 8%) this may be impossible. In that case, corporations are encouraged to always make available the option for a paid hotel room for one of the employees.
Team Driving: Cab-sharing is not the only risk to women on the road. Driving companies are encouraging team driving as another viable solution. Drivers are permitted to bring a spouse or friend along, eliminating safety concerns as well as increasing family time for drivers.
Safety technology: In-cab sound-enabled cameras and emergency buttons reduce the risk for harassment and abuse, not only in the training process, but on the road as well!
In addition to implementing these parameters, it is essential that every company emphasizes safe driver behavior as well. Park your rig in a well-lit area and always be acutely aware of your surroundings. If we want to attract excellent drivers, we must present excellent measures of protection for each and every one. ATC is committed to the safety of its drivers!