Fleet Management

Trucking Scores High with Americans, Poll Shows

October 21, 2015

By David Cullen

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New poll reveals that 81% of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers. Photo courtesy Haldex
New poll reveals that 81% of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers. Photo courtesy Haldex

A new nationwide poll indicates Americans look favorably on how truckers drive-- especially when compared to car drivers-- and see trucking as essential to driving the economy.

Commissioned by the American Trucking Associations, the poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, which surveyed 800 registered voters between August 30 and September on their attitudes about politics, trucking and infrastructure.

“Our industry invests more than $7 billion each year in safety tools, technologies and practices, and this poll tells us those investments are working,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Americans believe trucks move the most freight and that our drivers are safe and getting safer. Those facts beliefs are not just correct, they are important to keep in mind when debating important safety issues.”

The poll discerned that:

  • The majority of Americans, 57%, said trucking’s safety record was “excellent” or “good”
  • 91% of Americans believe car drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior on the highways than truck drivers-- and 70% believe car drivers are more likely to be at fault when a car and truck collide
  • 81% of Americans believe truckers are safer drivers
  • 34% of respondents said trucking’s safety record had improved over the past 20 years
  • A majority of Americans, 63%, believe trucks move most of the nation’s goods– marking a three-point increase from 2014
  • 61% of respondents said they have a favorable view of the trucking industry, the highest among transportation modes
  • When asked to offer their own thoughts on trucking, respondents called drivers hard working, said the industry provided thousands of jobs and described trucking a dependable and efficient

The poll also looked at the specific issue of highway speeds and use of speed limiters and found that: 

  • 69% of Americans oppose reducing highway speeds to improve safety and reduce pollution
  • 63% oppose the installation of speed-limiting devices on passenger vehicles
  • More than half – 56% – of respondents said they favored mandating speed limiters for large trucks

"I’m pleased that so many of my fellow Americans think so highly of our safety record, but we should not be satisfied, noted outgoing ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman of Longistics, Raleigh, N.C. “We need to do more to not only improve our safety record, but to tell people about it.”

The results of the poll were released on Oct. 21 at the ATA Board of Directors meeting held during the trucking lobby’s annual Management Conference & Expo in Philadelphia.


  1. 1. Dennis [ October 22, 2015 @ 09:08AM ]

    Now there is s big surprise. ATA does a poll and they find that 56% of the people "favored mandating speed limiters for large trucks". Seeing as the ATA is the primary pusher of that rule what would anybody expect them to find in a poll.

  2. 2. Sam [ October 22, 2015 @ 10:54AM ]

    Now that's an interesting poll! If 81% of voters think truck drivers are better drivers and safer on the road than other drivers, then why would 56% of voters be in favor of speed limiters on trucks and 63% of them be against speed limiters on passenger vehicles? Sounds like the ATA (anti-trucking association) might be manipulating the numbers. After all, 91% felt that car drivers were more likely to be involved in risky behavior. I'm sure that the majority of Americans don't want trucks to move any slower than they already do, because the most likely reason that car drivers use a lot of risky maneuvers is so they can get around or get ahead of a slower moving truck. Anyone that has driven a truck for a living can tell you that!

  3. 3. Al [ October 23, 2015 @ 05:03AM ]

    Attaching any weight to the opinions of those who know less than nothing of their subject by virtue of everything they think they know being obviously wrong just seems silly.

    The vast majority of Class 8 rigs are operated exactly like no sports car should be operated on public roadways. Speeding and following too closely are common enough to be considered virtually universal steering agent "driving" habits.

  4. 4. Dave Stout [ October 23, 2015 @ 06:01AM ]

    I agree 100% with Sam's comments above. Why don't they ask this question to the polsters, You understand that speed limiters make trucks pass other trucks in a slower manner taking up a 4 wheeler's time waiting for the truck to pass another truck both limited to 65 mph on a 70 mph road and one truck is a little heavier than the other truck and could cause you a 5 to 10 minute delay while the truck is passing, slowing you down? Now with that information you have been provided, would you like a speed limiter put on every truck for 65 mph, possibly causing you multiple delays while highway driving? The majority of the answers would be NO speed limiters because the polls are already showing 4 wheelers don't want to be slowed down with a speed limiter on their car, the numbers show it, if the numbers are right.

  5. 5. E Wolf [ October 23, 2015 @ 06:36AM ]

    The push for speed limiters by the uninformed public is a direct result of bad and aggressive driving by so called "professional " drivers driving considerably faster than the surrounding traffic. I am not in favor of speed limiters in any way but I am in favor of safe driving. Having been a driver for nearly 45 years I have seen the steady decline of professionalism of so many of today's drivers. I see this each and every day on the highways. The next time you decide to pass traffic at excessive speed remember those are the people that will force limiters and even more regulations on you. Drive on and be SAFE!

  6. 6. Ron [ October 23, 2015 @ 03:41PM ]

    The problem of speed limited trucks overtaking one and other for minutes is easily solved. It's done in Europe years ago.
    It's called an overtaking ban for big trucks.
    Next in theater USA!

  7. 7. Anthony [ October 27, 2015 @ 04:36AM ]

    I don't believe anything this ATA says.Its a Washington lobby group for the trucking mega companies

  8. 8. Anthony [ October 27, 2015 @ 04:43AM ]

    The survey questions were asked on 800 people only in a country of how many hundreds of millions ???????? Go figure. ATA is a joke when it comes to the real issues affecting trucking industry for regular owner operators.Like I said it's a lobby group for the trucking mega companies


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