FMCSA planning study of sexual assault, harassment among truckers

Updated Feb 20, 2024
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is planning to undertake a study to understand and quantify the prevalence and severity of sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) experienced across the commercial motor vehicle industry, particularly among drivers.

The agency said it is seeking information on how best to design and conduct a study to identify, categorize, and assess the context and trends of SASH in the industry.

FMCSA is particularly interested in how to support women currently in these jobs and those seeking to enter the CMV industry. The request for information seeks feedback on how best to approach the study holistically in terms of statistical sampling, study design, and administering the appropriate data collection efforts.

For example, FMCSA seeks information on how best to treat categories of gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity in the study, as well as best practices in designing questions that use the latest standards for SASH research and address the breadth and lifecycles of careers in the CMV industry.

This study builds on recommendations from FMCSA’s Women of Trucking Advisory Board to better understand problems of SASH among drivers, thereby helping identify possible countermeasures.

FMCSA will use the results of the study to understand any potential regulatory or policy measures needed to improve driver safety and mitigate SASH; work with industry partners on outreach and other efforts to improve driver safety through SASH prevention; and support the participation of women in the CMV industry. 

The agency is asking for comments on 10 specific questions in its RFI.

1. What is the optimal study design to capture SASH information within the CMV industry, particularly among drivers? FMCSA is considering a survey and interview approach, as well as potential peer reviews of findings at key milestones throughout the study. What type of study design will best characterize the nature and scope of sexual assault and sexual harassment within the CMV industry that can be used to develop appropriate countermeasures?

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2. What are the best practices or methods for capturing gender identity information?

3. What are best practices to consider when asking demographic questions about sexual orientation and ethnicity?

4. Are there other categories of participant demographics that would improve the study ( e.g., education, age, income, length of time in position (or in the industry), segment of the CMV industry, geographic region of operation, etc.)? Please be specific and provide rationale for including such questions, including how they may be used in characterizing the SASH problem and developing countermeasures and recommendations.

5. Who should be included ( i.e., targeted stakeholders) in a SASH study for the CMV industry?

6. What options exist to best incorporate stakeholder input and feedback throughout the study ( e.g., surveys, individual interviews, focus groups, or other formats)?

7. What research is available for designing and administering questions about SASH ( e.g., style of questions, sequencing, repetition, phrasing, etc.)?

8. What are the best methods to capture SASH issues and trends throughout the evolution of one's career (trainee, driver, other positions across the CMV industry ( e.g., manager, trainer, scheduler, safety employee, retiree, those who have left the industry)?

9. What are the optimum methods to capture the breadth of SASH? What categories of questions should FMCSA include that will ensure a comprehensive approach to the issue?

10. What are good practices for informing stakeholders and the public at key milestones during a long study? How can FMCSA best disseminate information ( e.g., literature review, preliminary results) to keep stakeholders informed without compromising the integrity of the study?

Comments can be filed here through March 11.