Women in Trucking seeks input from pregnant truckers
January 15, 2021
Pregnant truckers face a lot of challenges on the road, but not enough data is available to get a clear picture. Women in Trucking is conducting a survey that aims to collect that info.
Currently, Women in Trucking is seeking input from all female truckers who are, have been or may plan to be pregnant while on the road. Completely anonymous, the survey consists of 33 questions, all of which are voluntary. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Participants also can add their own comments and feedback at the end of the questionnaire.
To take the survey, click here.
More data about pregnant truckers needed
Courtney Pierce, a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver, is the principal investigator of what she describes as the maternal and child health survey. Pierce is studying biological anthropology and specializing in maternal and child health. The university is not affiliated with the pregnant trucker study, which is being conducted through Women in Trucking.
Pierce is no stranger to the trucking industry. Her father is vice president of safety at Wilson Logistics in Pacific, Wash. She fused her scholarly interests with her exposure to the trucking industry when deciding to study pregnant truckers.
“So using my background in maternal and child health, coupled with the appreciation for the industry, I actually started asking questions regarding rules and regulations for pregnant long-haul drivers that are set in place to ensure their safety and their well-being,” Pierce told Land Line Now.
It turns out, there is not a lot of information about pregnant truckers available.
Pierce contacted Women in Trucking to create the survey for pregnant truckers. Preliminary research began last summer, with the survey launching last fall.
“Pregnant women are considered vulnerable in the maternal and child health industry,” Pierce said. “And so even though pregnant long-haul drivers are small, I feel that they really deserve to be represented.”
In fact, one goal of the survey is to determine about how many pregnant drivers are out there. Based on social media posts, blogs and video diaries, there are several pregnant truckers out there documenting their experiences.
Through those posts, Pierce knows that there are women driving while in the third trimester, but there is no data to indicate how many pregnant drivers are staying on the job during the third trimester or when pregnant drivers do decide to put trucking on pause. When it comes to driving while pregnant, there are no set guidelines.
Pierce and Women in Trucking’s study is exploring the safety aspect of pregnant truckers. It is worth noting that how long a driver should stay on the road is a question between the driver and her physician.
One thing pregnant drivers need is plenty of rest, as Pierce points out.
Many female truckers have a lot questions regarding what they should ask their doctor and whether maternity leave is an option.
“There’s just a lot that really needs to be discussed. That’s why with the survey we’re hoping to at least start a conversation,” Pierce said. “It’s a tough conversation that many people don’t want to have. Many carriers do not want to change their policies. They don’t want to deal with it. But now we’re living in a society where we need to talk about these people who haven’t been represented. We need to make a change and offer them the protection of policies, even guidelines of resources that they deserve.”
That is what Pierce hopes to achieve with the study: conversation that may lead to meaningful policy changes at carriers that address the issues that pregnant truckers face. However, for that to work, Pierce and Women in Trucking need as many respondents as possible in order to get complete and accurate data.
Pierce will compile the results and release them as a study, which she will submit as scholarly literature. That way, future researchers can easily find it and expand on the data. Pierce also will provide information to carriers. Resources will be available at Women in Trucking’s website, including information about rest, eating well on the road, and questions to ask physicians.
“We want to be the advocate,” Pierce said. “We want to go to careers and to say we did the survey and the drivers have spoken. This is what they want.” LL
Land Line Now Senior Correspondent Scott Thompson contributed to this report.