Trucking is a great career for women. You will gain self-confidence and make good money, earning more the more you drive.
Being a female truck driver is empowering; it gives you greater independence and builds your self-reliance. You can take on the road alone. You can operate a big rig. And you can have a successful career as a driver.
It’s rewarding to put in the work every mile. However, women do face unique obstacles in the transportation industry.
Keep reading for safety tips for female truck drivers and ways to adapt to the trucking lifestyle.
Women make up 14% of Prime Inc. drivers. That’s above the national average! Find CDL jobs for women, and join Prime’s ranks of hardworking women truck drivers. Apply online today!
Safety Tips for Women Drivers
Women in Trucking’s “2022 WIT Female Driver Safety and Harassment Study” provides insight into female truck drivers’ experiences. Approximately 450 female drivers responded to the survey between July and September 2021.
According to the survey, most female truck drivers feel the industry is safe. About 54% of women said they think trucking is safe for them. While many women feel safe, a good portion still does not. Nearly 18% of women find the industry unsafe.
Where do women feel the most unsafe? Female truck drivers cited truck stops and rest areas as top safety concerns. You can reduce your chance of a safety threat by staying alert and following the tips below.
Note: If you are a survivor of a threat or assault, you are not at fault. You did not do anything to deserve what happened. No matter what it is or was, what happened was not your fault.
1. Learn Self-Defense
It never hurts to be trained in self-defense. Taking a self-defense class can help you feel more confident out alone. About 25% of women drivers from the WIT survey had taken self-defense training.
2. Carry Personal Safety Items
If you feel comfortable doing so, you can carry personal safety products, like pepper spray. You can keep them in your cab and have them on your person as you walk to and from rest area buildings. Be sure to read the directions for your product so you know how to use it should you need to.
Before carrying personal safety items, you should know the customers’ property rules and state guidelines. If Prime Inc. drivers have questions, they can contact our security team!
3. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Always pay attention to what’s happening around you. If you’re a woman, this piece of advice likely isn’t new to you. About 96% of the WIT survey respondents said they pay close attention to their surroundings when outside their cabs.
4. Park in the Front Line
Finding good parking can be challenging. An American Transportation Research Institute study from 2016 found that drivers average 56 minutes a day trying to find a safe place to park instead of driving revenue-earning miles.
For women truck drivers, parking can be a concern. When you arrive at truck stops, try to put yourself in the best position possible by parking under lights or close to the front line. Try to avoid parking at the back of the lot.
Before you rest or sleep, double-check that you’ve locked your cab doors. You can also slide your seatbelt through the door handles for an added layer of security.
Parking at your company terminal is always a good option if you’re close by! Trucking company terminals have the amenities you need and often have security. Prime Inc. has three main terminals in Springfield, MO, Pittston, PA, and Salt Lake City, UT.
5. Connect With Female Drivers
One goal you should consider is building your network of female truck drivers. You can share experiences and tips and get support from women who understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.
It’s easy to connect online using platforms like Facebook Groups! At Prime, drivers can join the Prime Highway Diamonds Support group on Facebook. There you can engage with other Prime drivers and get answers to your questions.
You never know when you and women from your network may cross paths. If you end up in the same area, you can park together.
Stick together if you can. There is comfort in numbers and meeting up with people you know. You can attempt to park by other trucks from your company’s fleet when you’re on the road.
Hygiene & Comfort Tips for Women
Truck drivers plan their days around delivering freight. You’ll plan when you eat, shower and sleep.
When sticking to a tight schedule, preparation is your friend. Being prepared also comes in handy if there’s an emergency. We hope you’ll never be in an accident or stuck on the side of the road, but as a driver, you must be ready for unexpected weather and equipment breakdowns.
1. Plan Your Bathroom Breaks
Women have different needs than men, which can result in women stopping to use the restroom more often. Before you set out for the day, plan your bathroom breaks as you plan your route.
Choose the stops with the best reputations and set your planned bathroom break times. Be realistic and establish intervals that work best for your needs.
2. Pack for Non-Shower Days
If you’re an OTR driver, you won’t be able to shower every day. Before you leave home, pack everything you need in your shower caddy or bag. Truck stops may not have certain items, so you should come prepared with what you want and need.
Bring out the baby wipes, hand sanitizer and Micellar water when you can’t shower. You may want to pack dry shampoo or extra water bottles to soak washcloths with for a “sponge” bath.
3. Always Carry Personal Hygiene Items
You always want to have your hygiene items, especially when it comes to menstrual products. Make sure you have the things you need to make stops quickly. If you break down, have extra products stashed away that you can use in an emergency.
4. Bring Your Own Snacks
You can reduce the number of times you must get out of your cab by packing snacks. If you are driving at night, having food on hand can be especially helpful. You can park and eat in your cab instead of walking to and from truck stops or restaurants in the dark.
Packing snacks also helps you save money on food purchases and make healthier choices!
5. Gear up for Everything
You never know what you’ll be facing. The weather may be sunny in one area and stormy in the next state over. All long-haul truck drivers should keep gear for a variety of climates. You’ll want a raincoat, boots, gloves and hats for wet and colder weather.
In addition to the weather, there’s a chance your equipment could break down at some point in your career. Pack your headlamp or flashlight, work gloves and first aid kit to prepare for any scenario.
Highway Diamonds Program
Being a female truck driver is a unique experience. Luckily, you’re not alone. There are many successful women out there who know what it’s like!
Prime’s Highway Diamonds program connects women truck drivers to empower them, recognize their achievements and provide the support they need. The women in our fleet shine bright—like diamonds—and we want them to succeed at every step.
We’re proud of the women at Prime making a difference for the next generation of drivers. The moment you start at Prime, you are a Highway Diamond. There’s no sign up form or Highway Diamond application. You’re automatically in!
Keep an eye on the Prime Mobile App for news about future Highway Diamond events.
Find Female Truck Driver Jobs
Looking for CDL jobs for women? You came to the right place. Start your career as a female truck driver, or bring your talent and experience to our fleet.