Is it Safe for Women to be Truck Drivers? Myths Busted.

Nora, Matheson Truck Driver, in her cab at night.

If you’re a woman interested in joining the trucking industry, you might have heard that it’s not safe for women to be truck drivers.

Some rumors are easily dismissed, like “Women aren’t suited for life on the road” or “Women aren’t strong enough to be handling trucks”. Ask any woman driver, and they can tell you exactly what they think of that. But other concerns you have heard are valid and might cause you to hesitate, such as

1. Trucking is a male-dominated space, there aren’t a lot of other women drivers on the road.
2. You will be away from your family for long periods of time.
3. Sleeping at truck stops can be dangerous.

But you shouldn’t let these things stop your pursuit of a career in trucking. Though there is a thread of truth in each of these statements, it’s not as black and white as seems. There is a large support system in place for keeping you and others safe.

1. Trucking is a male-dominated space, there aren’t a lot of other women drivers on the road.

While this statement is true, there have never been as many truck drivers on the road as there are today. According to the Women In Trucking Association (A fantastic resource for women in trucking) “…there has (been an) 88% increase in female drivers since 2010”.

More recent numbers show that the “…average percentage of over-the-road drivers who are female was 7.13 percent in 2017 and increased to 7.89 percent in 2018.” Although women are still the minority in the industry at this rate, this might not soon be the case. More and more women are learning about the pros of truck driving and joining the workforce.

2. You will be away from your family for long periods of time.

This is a concern for anyone, not just women when thinking about becoming a truck driver. If the idea of being away from your family for days, weeks, or months at a time doesn’t appeal to you, I have good news! There are multiple types of schedules, routes, and positions for a Class A Driver.

If you want to make sure you’re home daily to welcome home children from school, you could be a Shuttle Driver, towing cargo from airports to warehouses to be sorted. Often, these positions are part-time so you could have plenty of time at home.

If you’re interested in longer routes, you could be a Regional Driver, driving to the next state over that morning, picking up a load, and then coming back to your city at night. You’d always fall asleep in your own bed.

There are a lot of jobs hiring truck drivers. Over-The-Road routes are not your only option. Choose how you want to drive.

Matheson is hiring Class A Team, Solo, Shuttle, Regional, and Local Drivers now. Check out our open positions here: https://www.mathesoninc.com/job-board/

3. Sleeping at truck stops is dangerous.

If you choose to be an Over-The-Road driver, there will be nights when you will have to sleep either in your truck or in a hotel room paid for by your company. Often, these truck stops are busy as drivers come and go through the day and night, you are never sure who is parked next to you. Just like driving your regular car, it’s important to keep alert when outside and inside of your truck. Below are a few tips to stay safe

  • Pick a popular and well-lit truck stop, open 24/7 if possible.
  • Don’t park in the back or in the dark, choose a well-lit spot.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

And most importantly…

  • Connect With Other Female Drivers.

They are your best resource on the road. They know how to stay safe, have learned through experience, and want to help other women succeed.

Do not let fear stop you from pursuing a career that works for you. Trucking is very lucrative and great for those who want to work by themselves or with a team while traveling. Women truckers, what advice would you give your younger self starting out in trucking?