Transportation Researcher Looks into Truckers' COVID Views
COVID Safety on the Highways
Almost every business, organization, school and church has been impacted in some way by COVID-19 pandemic. One Alabama A&M University transportation educator and researcher decided it was time to study how a group of Alabama truck drivers viewed their preparation for the pandemic by their employees.
Dr. Jacob Oluwoye, professor of transportation and environmental health in AAMU’s Department of Community and Regional Planning, surveyed 50 Alabama truck drivers through the Center of Urban and Rural Research. Seventy-six percent of respondents represented Jefferson County, the state’s most densely populated area. The aim was to gather the drivers’ views about commuting last summer to their respective workplaces during the COVID pandemic, along with information on changes within the means of transport since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
Some 92 percent of the truck drivers reported that they had experienced no change in their means of transport in commuting trips during the pandemic, while only 8 percent indicated that changes had been made in the means of transport due to the pandemic.
Oluwoye admits that there is still relatively little empirical analysis on the subject, as well as on the potential impact of a lack of COVID-19 preparedness on the transportation sector and beyond. Collaborative efforts by researchers in the public and private sector will be needed to collect data and to develop safety strategies for Alabama truck drivers in the new reality of COVID-19, noted Oluwoye.