Contrary to how many truckers may often feel, most Americans appreciate the important role they play in the nation's economy and sympathize with drivers who have to deal with the unsafe driving of other motorists.
The survey, “How America Thinks and Talks Trucks,” was conducted by CloudTrucks, a business management platform aimed at owner-operators, found:
- 80% answered yes when asked, "Do you believe truck drivers play a crucial role in our economy?" More (11%) said they were unsure of truckers' roles than said they don't think (95) drivers are essential to the economy.
- 40% of respondents said truckers frequently encounter aggressive or unsafe driving behaviors from other motorists, and another 38% said truckers face the problem occasionally
- 30% said they believe truckers are not properly compensated for the work they do
The survey also found the 2,000 respondents to the survey have a positive image of drivers and believe they are underpaid. Fully a third -- 33% -- said drivers are not adequately compensated for their work. Many respondents -- 35% -- said they believe drivers are industrious, overworked and underpaid, while 32% also described drivers as reliable and punctual.
Still, not everyone had a positive outlook about truckers. The survey reported, "When asked about the images that come to mind when thinking of truck drivers, some limiting perceptions persisted. About 21% of respondents suggested drivers are older white males with tattoos and rough appearances, and 13% suggested they are reckless and disregard traffic rules and safety precautions."
Interestingly, the CloudTrucks survey also asked, "What would be your first thought if you met someone in a social setting and learned they were a truck driver?" The survey offered several responses and allowed those taking the survey to select more than one. Here's the possible answers and how people responded:
- 48% chose, "I would have respect for their sacrifices, hard work, and contributions to society."
- 46% chose, "I would have an interest in learning more about their travels and experiences in the industry."
- 36% chose, "I would anticipate having an enjoyable conversation with them."
- 17% chose, "I would assume they were conservative politically,"
- 15% chose, "I would assume I had little in common with them and have nothing to talk to them about."
- 13% chose, "I would assume they were not particularly well-educated or intelligent."
- 8% chose, "None of the above."
The survey also determined 26% of respondents felt they were "very familiar" with the daily life and challenges of truckers, while 39% said they were "somewhat familiar".
“It’s great to see that so many people value and feel positively about truck drivers and the work they do,” said Tobenna Arodiogbu, co-founder and CEO, of CloudTrucks. “Most freight in the U.S. is moved by trucks so drivers and the trucking industry as a whole are absolutely essential to our daily existence. Perhaps positive perceptions will continue to grow as consumer activities like e-commerce become more popular and the general public interacts more with the trucking industry via experiences like package tracking. We have to keep working to ensure this value translates monetarily to drivers.”