The report, taken from a survey of 71 drivers, said dangerous sexual behavior at truckstops was to blame for a high risk of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among professional drivers. One third of the drivers interviewed said they frequently engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners.
NATSO immediately challenged the study's methodology, sample size, and conclusions. Kim Eagan Viani, managing director of the NATSO Foundation, said, "Although there are more than 3 million long-haul truckers in the United States, researchers only spoke to 71. Results from such a small, localized sample of drivers could not possibly represent the behavior of an entire industry."
Drivers who spoke to the researchers complained that prostitutes frequently woke them while they were parked at truckstops and rest area parking lots. Some prostitutes even travel the roads and have developed truckstop routes, the study asserts. Moreover, truckers and prostitutes often use drugs together.
The CDC survey said that drug, alcohol, cigarette and caffeine use tend to predict a driver's risky behavior. Nearly every driver interviewed admitted he kept two logbooks in order to drive longer than the law permits. The study thus concluded that drugs help truckers drive longer without rest, and that alcohol and sex relieve the stress.
NATSO President Dewey Clower responded to the survey report by saying, "Our industry has worked hard over many years to dispel stereotypes about truckers and truckstops. Today's travel plaza is a clean, safe place frequented by professional drivers and families alike."