Do You Know These Stats About Truck Drivers in America?

EMPLOYMENT

Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Roberto Munoz Pindaro / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Truck drivers spend long days and nights driving important cargo across America from city to city, state to state and even coast to coast. While some people have a romanticized idea of those long nights on the road, it's actually a difficult job that requires long hours of concentration and sometimes even driving important cargo through dangerous conditions. Whether rain or shine, snow or sleet, day or night, truck drivers are out working early mornings, late nights and often even on holidays. 

It is a big field with a long history and many Americans involved. Men and women have been driving trucks across America for generations. This profession has its own slang, lingo, challenges and place in the folklore of America. From the old long highways to truck stops with infamously seedy reputations along the highway, there's a lot attached to the old profession of truck driving. It's one of America's most classic images.

If you think that you know a lot about truck drivers, see if you can put your knowledge to the test and come out on top with this truck-driver stats quiz! You might be surprised by the actual numbers attached to all of the stories! 

How many truck drivers are there in the U.S.?

There are about 3.5 million truck drivers currently in the U.S. They drive important cargo all around the country.

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The lowest 10% of truck drivers earn how much?

While the median wage for truck drivers is about $40,000, half earn more and half earn less. The bottom 10% of drivers earn less than $27,510 a year.

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About what percentage of U.S. truck drivers are women?

Of the the 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., only about 200,000 are women. That's about 5.8% of truck drivers total.

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About what percentage of the nations freight do truckers haul?

Truckers haul 70% of America's freight. That's about 10.5 billion tons hauled every year.

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How many miles are truckers estimated to drive over their whole careers?

Truckers are estimated to drive about 3 million miles over the course of their career. At that rate, a trucker could drive back and forth from New York City to Los Angeles about 1000 times.

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What is the average age of truckers?

The average age of truckers in the U.S. is 49 years old. It's not a popular profession among millennials and those of Generation Z.

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How common is truck driving as a job?

Truck driving is an incredibly common job. In 29 U.S. states, it's the most common job within the state.

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Which state has the most truck drivers?

Texas has the most truckers of any U.S. state, with over 175,000 of them. It's 9th in the nation when it comes to median and entry-level salaries for truckers.

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What is roughly the average wage of drivers?

On average, truck drivers earn about $40,000 a year. Of course, this depends on the company they work for and their level of experience.

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How many miles do truckers drive every year?

Every year, it's estimated that a trucker in the U.S. drives about 125,000 miles. This distance encompasses the trip from New York City to Los Angeles over 40 times.

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About how many nights a year are truckers away from home?

On average, truckers spend more than 240 nights of the year away from home. That's over 65% of the year's nights.

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What is the median pay of truckers per hour?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay of truck drivers was $20.42 an hour. This is over $40,000 a year.

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The top earning 10% of truck drivers earn more than:

The highest 10% of truck drivers earn more than $60,000 a year. The exact number is $64,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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What is the maximum number of hours drivers may work at a time?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has capped the amount of hours a driver can work at one time. They cannot work more than 14 straight hours at a time.

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In a 14-hour shift, how much can a driver legally spend driving?

Drivers can legally only work 14 hours straight at a time, with a maximum of 11 hours spent driving. The rest of those hours are spent doing other tasks, like unloading cargo.

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Between working periods, how much time must drivers have off duty?

Drivers can work no more than 14 hours at a time. They also must have at least 10 hours off duty between working periods.

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In 7 days, what is the uppermost limit of driving time allowed for truckers?

In one week, drivers are allowed to drive no more than 60 hours. If split evenly, that is a little more than 8 hours per day.

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In 8 days, how many hours are truckers allowed to spend driving?

In an 8-day run, drivers are allowed to spend a maximum of 70 hours driving. That's just under 9 hours a day, if split evenly.

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How much off time do drivers get between 7-8 day runs?

Drivers get 34 hours off between 7-8 day runs. They also often work weekends, nights and holidays.

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What is the largest employer of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers?

In 2016, the largest employer of this type of trucker was truck transportation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they employed over 46% of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

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What is the main cause of truck accidents?

Over 87% of truck accidents are the result of driver error. About 10% are the results of vehicle malfunctions, and about 2% are the result of environmental factors.

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How many truckers reported to have had fallen asleep at the wheel over the previous month?

In one survey, 1/4 truck drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel in the last month. Their grueling long-haul schedules can be exhausting, which contributes to the high rate of accident and injury in the profession.

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What percentage of fatal crashes happen on long-haul trips?

A long-haul trip is considered to be over 51 miles. These trips are responsible for 65% of fatal trucking crashes.

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How many hours of sleep do truckers average per night?

Truck drivers average less than 5 hours of sleep a night. In order to maintain health, most adults require 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

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In which state are truck drivers paid the most on average?

North Dakota is one of the best states in which to start a trucking career. The average salary of truckers in this state is $53,720.

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Which state has one of the highest number of truckers, but also pays them less?

California has one of the biggest populations of any state, so it makes sense that they have more truckers than most states. Even though more than 130,000 truckers are employed in California, their average salary is on the lower side, at under $45,000 a year.

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Georgia has one of the lowest average starting salaries for truckers: True or false?

In Georgia, the average starting salary for truckers is only about $22,000. This is one of the lowest average starting salaries in the U.S., with this number pushing past $25,000 in many states and $30,000 per year in others.

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Is trucking an in-demand profession?

Truckers are very in demand. Employment is expected to grow 6% between 2016-2026. As the demand for goods rises, so will the demand for truck drivers to transport them.

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What genre of music is most listened to by truck drivers?

When surveyed, 43% of drivers said they were most likely to listen to country music on the road. 63% said they listen to AM and FM radio while they drive.

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65% of truck drivers said that what was the most difficult part of life on the road?

65% of drivers said that eating right is a big challenge on the road. 35% also said that finding time and space to exercise is a challenge.

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What is the favorite fast-food restaurant of many truckers?

55% of drivers said Subway is their favorite fast-food restaurant on the road. Wendy's was the next most popular, at 34%.

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What percentage of truck drivers stay at hotels daily while traveling for work?

Only 12% of truck drivers stay at a hotel daily while traveling for work. 35% stay at hotels once a month or less while on the road.

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Most truckers have daily internet access: True or false?

82% of truckers have daily email access. 84% have daily internet access.

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What do most truckers prefer to do when they are not on the road?

78% of truckers prioritize hanging out with family and friends when off duty. The next most popular activity was having a relaxing dinner, which 33% said was their favorite pastime when off the road.

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What percentage of U.S. goods get transported by truck at some point?

Trucking is expected to grow so much because it plays such an important role in how goods are transported in the U.S. There is a good chance almost everything you own was transported by truck at some point.

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