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Mitigating the Public’s Fear of Commercial Trucks

There’s a general perception that commercial truck drivers are unsafe and aggressive. We want to help mitigate the public's fear of commercial trucks.
Mitigating the public's fear of commercial trucks.

You’re a commercial truck driver with the best of intentions—to put in a good day’s work, make your delivery and get back home safely to your family. But the public doesn’t often view you that way. In fact, there’s a general perception that commercial truck drivers are unsafe and aggressive. Just glance at the sedan trying to pass or stay away from your semi-truck. Let’s face it, your vehicle can be a formidable presence, and drivers tend to shy away from your semi. We want to help mitigate the fear of commercial trucks.

What the numbers say:

A recent study of 1,000 U.S. adults found that 56% of passenger car drivers have felt unsafe driving next to a commercial truck in the past year, and 64% have witnessed unsafe driving behaviors among commercial truck drivers.

Turning bias to comfort.

If you’re a trucking company, how do you work against this bias? While it’s important the trucking industry be aware of the public’s fear, it’s equally critical that the public understands what’s being done to improve road safety.

It’s all about technology—not just any technology, but systems that help make truck driving safer. That includes video-based safety and techniques like artificial intelligence (AI) to identify distracted driving. Interestingly, the study also found that 69% of respondents think truck drivers should be under more video surveillance while on the road, mainly due to aggressive driving.

In addition to aggressive driving, other unsafe driving behaviors seen by respondents included using a cellphone/tablet while driving, eating while driving and driving while drowsy. The good news is that video technology can detect these types of behaviors and offer built-in driver coaching.

Attracting new drivers.

But will video technology deter drivers from hitting the road? Some may not care for cameras in the cab, but it can also attract a whole new generation of drivers. Gen Z and millennial groups seek tech-enabled jobs, and as the survey found, this can be particularly good news for the trucking industry that’s seeing a shortage of drivers.

Get the word out. Responsible trucking companies like CRST are incorporating safety measures into their trucks. Over time, the public will see more companies bringing video safety technology on board, and the fearful bias will be history.