Anyone that has ever driven a semi-truck knows the power these vehicles hold. That’s why fleet safety is such a vital component of the trucking industry. Despite the stereotype that women are worse drivers than men, data compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) shows that women are statistically safer drivers.
It’s no secret that the transportation industry is facing a shortage of truck drivers. Companies have been looking at underrepresented demographics to fill the gaps, such as women, immigrants, and young drivers. According to the American Trucking Association, women currently only make up about 6% of the industry. There are many reasons women should consider a career in trucking, from equal pay to job stability, but trucking companies should also look at the benefits they gain by hiring women drivers. In addition to filling spots left by an aging population, women truck drivers can make and save companies money due to their driving records.
ATRI’s research found that “female professional drivers outperform their male counterparts in every statistically significant safety behavior.” In addition, the study also found that “men were 20% more likely to be involved in a crash than women.” This is major news as truck crashes can costs significant amounts of money, not to mention take time, can cause death or injury and hurt a company’s reputation.
The study also found that in addition to having a higher risk of crashes, male truck drivers had a higher chance of small infractions. Compared to female drivers, male truckers had an 88% increased likelihood of receiving a reckless/careless/negligent driving infraction. They also had a 78% higher risk of being charged with a seat belt violation, 73% higher risk of receiving a failure to obey traffic signals, and a 70% higher risk of going over the speeding conviction.
It’s not just that women are safer drivers either. Female drivers tend to log more total miles on average. They also stay with carriers longer, which is another major plus. Driver loyalty means companies don’t have to spend money and time training new staff. Overall, the data collected by the ATRI suggests that hiring more female truck drivers would make the industry safer.