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.

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