Commercial drivers face a global image problem

Richard Madison, a marketing executive from Sussex Signs, a British company, was kind enough to send me an infographic recently about what he says are interesting views of the commercial van driver in that country.

Madison thought Fleet Owner’s readers here in the U.S. might be interested in some of the findings.

With all the talk about the driver shortage here and the reputation that truck drivers have among the general public, particularly following the crash that injured actor Tracey Morgan, a little understanding of the public’s view can’t hurt, right?

In May, the organization “Trucking Moves America Forward” (TMAF) kicked off an industry-wide image and education campaign at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

“Today’s modern truck drivers are skilled professionals and devoted family men and women, trained to focus on safety, efficiency and reliability while operating the safest and most sustainable trucks we have seen to-date,” Steve Ponder, chairman, Trucking Moves America Forward and vice president of Great West Casualty Company, said at the time.

Madison’s work, entitled, “Are you a vanophobe?” (you can view Madison’s work at: http://www.sussexsigns.com/vehicle-sign-writing-vehicle-wrapping/), I think, depicts exactly the kind of image problem commercial drivers have around the globe.

Among the interesting items in the graphic (you can click on the graphic to see a larger version for easier reading), only about 22% of vans on the road in Britain belong to fleet and courier companies. Additionally, 26% of van drivers are self-employed.

Perhaps most interestingly, and I have no doubt that this is true here as well, 43% of Brits believe van drivers should drive more considerately and 57% say they deserve a bad reputation. But research indicates that a van driver is less likely to be involved in a fender-bender than the average driver, despite being on the road more and they are no more likely to be involved in any reported accident than car drivers.

I’m curious to see how many of these theories hold up. Feel free to Tweet me at @truckingtalk or comment on this blog post below and tell me whether you agree or disagree.

 

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