Distracted driving and driver fatigue are two of the top major causes of trucking accidents. Yet, female drivers are less likely than their male counterparts to cause a traffic accident. The news is great for trucking companies, which could try to add more women to their truck fleets (currently, just 6% of North American truck drivers are females).
Are Female Truckers Safer on the Road?
According to an Omnitracs report, female truckers are more cautious drivers and less likely to quit their job than men. With a 95% trucker turnover rate, the trucking industry could focus on luring more female drivers to improve the ratings, which trucking companies rarely do.
The industry report also found that women are less likely to cause accidents than men as they usually drive more cautiously. For every 100 female drivers, just 3.41 percent cause a trucking accident that could have been prevented. By contrast, 3.44 male truck drivers get in such accidents.
Omnitracs researchers also found that female drivers are less likely to speed or to drive while fatigued. The report shows that women work in teams of two (two females or a female and a male, usually wife and husband), which lowers their risk of breaking federal rules on mandated rest times and cause drowsiness-related accidents.
Omnitracs believes that women are “slightly more cautious” on the road than their male counterparts, and they are less likely to drive aggressively than men. Drowsiness and aggressive driving can be two major catalysts for catastrophic accidents when a big-rig truck is involved.
Women are also more likely to work for companies that truly care about their safety and perform regular inspections of the vehicles. This aspect can also contribute to keeping accident numbers down. This is because females are more risk-averse than males in all walks of life, including truck driving.
Also, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found that female truck drivers are less likely to cause major accidents while behind the wheel. Of 3,883 truck-related fatalities in 2015, just 95 (2%) were caused by a female commercial truck driver.
The NAIC also reported that women are sometimes better than men at filing the necessary paperwork, maintaining the vehicle, and handling customers.
Why Aren’t Carriers Focusing More on Women?
Despite the many benefits female commercial drivers may bring, they still account for just 6% of all truck drivers. Carriers are still not interested in attracting and retaining female drivers because they are concerned that females are more likely to stay focused on their homes than on their jobs.
Carriers are also concerned that they might quit their jobs faster than men due to the aforementioned reason. However, this is not what the Omnitracs study has found. On the contrary, women are more likely to ask more questions and take longer time to switch careers due to their risk-averse nature.
Stay Metrics researchers found that male truckers are more likely to quit their jobs due to issues with their home-and-life balance. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to quit because of personal safety issues.
Trucking companies, however, still focus on “good drivers” regardless of sex. Only 11% of carriers said they run programs to attract women to their labor pool. Around 35% said they were more male-oriented in their recruiting efforts, while the rest said their programs were “gender neutral.”
Many truck operators still don’t feel to get their marketing efforts more geared towards females, mainly due to misconceptions. Yet, that might change because of the current driver shortage crippling the industry. Despite their best efforts, though, carriers still cannot attract good truckers. Experts believe that focusing more on convincing females to start a trucking career could change the situation dramatically.
Women are safer truck drivers than men due to their risk-averse nature and commitment to personal safety. They are also less likely to quit their jobs than their male counterparts immediately. Women are less likely to drive impaired and tired, or break federal hours of service rules or speed limits. They are also more likely to work in teams and are better at handling customers.
But the icing on the cake is that female truck drivers don’t enjoy driving aggressively, which means that they are less likely to cause catastrophic truck accidents. However, despite women being safer drivers than men, carriers still ignore them even though this willful ignorance might cost them millions in damages awarded to trucking accident victims.
If you or a loved one were involved in a trucking accident and harmed, you can call a truck accident lawyer for free and see how much compensation you might get. A professional can help you recover compensation for trucking accident-related medical expenses, time off from work, and your pain and suffering.