On the Road and Beyond: Exploring sentiment, health, and lifestyle of today’s truck drivers

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Three of four truckers believe their job is mentally and physically stressful

A new survey of truck drivers by DAT Freight & Analytics is the latest that highlights the pros and cons of being a truck driver – particularly a long-haul – or “over-the-road” trucker. 

According to Indeed, the worldwide employment website, “The trucking industry offers many potential career paths, from mechanical maintenance to driving trucks for short or long hauls. Truckers help deliver goods to businesses and individuals all across the country, but the distances they travel can differ depending on the type of trucker they are, which may also affect their salaries and career opportunities.”

The DAT survey revealed that truck drivers find their work fulfilling; however, nearly 75% state the job is physically and emotionally stressful. More troubling, though, is the finding that few drivers are able to take care of their well-being or to seek support when needed.

“Although the country recognizes the vital role of truck drivers in the U.S. economy, our survey results show why it’s incredibly important to empathize with the challenges they face in their personal and professional lives,” said DAT Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Hopper. 

Key Survey Findings

The DAT survey revealed the major reasons that lead to stress on the road for long-haul truckers. They include:

  • Drivers miss time with friends and family: 54% of those surveyed spend less than 24 hours per week at home.
  • Drivers have a long workweek: 33% of the drivers surveyed are driving more than 49 hours each week. 
  • Nutrition is a challenge: 63% of those who responded to the survey cook meals in their truck two to six days each week, and 37% eat fast food two to three days weekly.
  • Long hours make it difficult to manage sleep and exercise: 63% of the respondents sleep 6 hours or less per night; 38% reported that they take medication to help them sleep. 

Full details of the survey and its findings can be found here.

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