In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of female truck drivers in the U.S. due to a shortage in long-haul drivers. Even more interestingly, female truck drivers are showing that they can be just as competent behind the wheel as men, if not more so.
One reason women make for such good truck drivers, according Stephanie Klang (a current female trucker for Con-Way), is that women are “more patient.”
In 2012, there were roughly 333,000 accidents involving large trucks. Unfortunately, national safety doesn’t break down their figures by gender to show the safety of male and female drivers. In the annual “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel,” the Women in Trucking Association celebrated female drivers across the country for achieving over 200 million safe driving miles.
Regardless of official statistics, Derek Leathers, the Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises Inc., says female drivers have been outperforming male drivers in terms of fewest number of trucking accidents, compliance and inspection issues. Furthermore, Leathers expects more women to be hired by the end of the year – as much as 10 percent of Werner Enterprises Inc’s 9,000 drivers.
More and more transportation companies are starting to notice that women have been overlooked as members of the labor pool and that they can be used to fill some of the slots that could go unfilled when demand for drivers exceeds the expected 400,000 by 2017. Werner and other trucking companies are now planning recruitment campaigns specifically targeting women.
American Trucking Associations reports that women accounted for 5.8 percent of the 3.4 million truckers in the last year. This number is up from 4.6 percent in 2010. One possible explanation for the increase a set of statistics showing that female drivers are almost “three times less likely to get into an accident and five times less likely to violate safety regulations than their male counterparts.”
All truck drivers strive to be safe behind the wheel, but crashes do happen. If you or a loved one are involved in a crash involving a truck, contact the Tennessee truck accident attorneys at Gilreath & Associates to schedule a free consultation.
We also invite you to check out our blog and knowledge center to find additional legal information about truck crashes and other areas within our practice.