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Online survey reveals driver challenges during COVID-19 crisis

June 16, 2020
Professional Driver Agency says 70% of truckers are worried about bringing the novel coronavirus home to family, friends

A new online survey from Professional Driver Agency (PDA) attempts to shed light on the issues and challenges America’s professional truck drivers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey of more than 1,600 professional drivers reveals that while drivers feel safe overall driving during COVID-19, they are concerned for their personal health and bringing home the virus to family and friends, PDA said.

The survey reveals that while a wide majority of America’s professional drivers are considered ‘essential,’ the global pandemic is creating new personal and economic challenges for them. The personal challenge is evident in the survey results showing 72% of drivers say they were most concerned about bringing home the virus to family and friends. 

“For us, this was really the key takeaway from the survey,” said Scott Dismuke, director of operations at PDA. “While risking personal exposure to COVID-19, this is an overwhelming majority of drivers that are even more concerned about coming home and exposing family and friends.”

Of the drivers concerned about exposing their family to COVID-19, 42% said they were staying out on the road longer instead of taking home time.

“A significant number of drivers are foregoing home time,” Dismuke said. “These men and women already sacrifice time with loved ones and are now sacrificing even more during the pandemic.”

More than 60% of drivers stated they feel safe driving during the COVID-19 pandemic, but nearly 45% said they were concerned about their personal health.

“It’s important to note that while drivers feel safe driving during these uncertain times, a significant number of drivers are still concerned about their personal health,” Dismuke said. “Personal exposure to COVID-19 is a concern for drivers at every stop they make. Almost the same number of the drivers surveyed said they were concerned about going into COVID-19 hotspots to deliver goods.”

When asked what could be done differently to make drivers feel safer on the road, nearly 54% of drivers wanted more access to personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, half of the drivers felt they needed safer accessibility to food/drink on the road.

As a result, when drivers were asked about what concerns them the most from a job-related standpoint, 49% of respondents said that access to amenities (food, showers, parking) on the road was one of their biggest concerns. 

“I think the results of this survey convey what we already knew about America’s professional truck drivers—they are risking their health to keep our economy moving and supply chains open during this pandemic,” Dismuke said. “These men and women, along with our first responders and health care professionals, have been heroic in their efforts by keeping grocery stores stocked and other vital products moving over the last couple of months.”

Carriers or others interested in gaining insight into truck drivers’ concerns and opinions regarding operating during COVID-19 can download the full report of the survey results at joinpdateam.com/data-download.

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Commercial Vehicle Staff | staff