Even as more women enter the trucking industry, dangers exist in this male-dominated field. Kim Bourne, a nurse working toward her doctorate degree at University of Kentucky, is dedicating her research to the women behind the wheel across the country. Female drivers hold a place close to Bourne’s heart for a special reason: She was one.
Bourne took a break from nursing between 2008 and 2010 to travel the country as a team driver with her husband. While she loved the experience, she ran into some surprising and scary circumstances. Bourne heard women being harassed over the CB, and she saw cases of assault at truck stops, often perpetrated by the women’s own husbands. Just as upsetting, Bourne realized many of these women had nowhere to go for health care or support. They were prisoners of the road.
When she decided to hang up her keys and return to nursing, Bourne couldn’t forget the plight of women who were still making their living behind the wheel. She is now conducting research that aims to connect female drivers with the resources they need to be safe and healthy while supporting this vital arm of the economy. Her work includes domestic violence prevention and intervention, insurance reform, and company policies for female drivers.