Safety is important for truckers. While the big rigs can seem intimidating on the road, their drivers are still susceptible to the same kinds of attacks that any driver is on the road, especially when traveling overnight and over long distances. Here are some ways that truckers can protect themselves on the road and stay safe.
One of the most important ways to stay safe on the road is to keep your doors locked. If a would-be criminal doesn’t have access to your cabin, they don’t have access to you. This is especially important if you sleep in your truck at night, but even while you’re on the road, your doors should always stay locked. You never know when someone may attempt to hijack your vehicle at a stop.
If something looks suspicious, there’s a good chance it is. If you’re alarmed by someone who is hanging around your vehicle, if you notice that someone is lingering too long around a rest area or truck stop, or if any other activity strikes you as odd and suspicious, notify law enforcement. Even if it turns out to be nothing, you’ll be keeping yourself and other truckers and drivers safe.
Your cellphone is your most important safety device. Ensure that your phone stays charged during your trip and make sure you keep at least one charged battery pack on hand to charge your phone when your truck isn’t running. In addition to being a handy way to contact law enforcement, your cellphone offers you a wealth of information. Most providers send out emergency alerts to cell phones. Your maps feature will allow you to plan your trips. You can also team up with a family member or a business partner to keep a tracking feature active on your phone, so that someone always knows where you are while you’re on the road – a vital safety feature if something happens and you don’t make it to your destination or next check-in.
Use the technology in your hands to your advantage when you plan your trip. Map out your route, including alternates, and find your rest and fuel stops. You can also plan for alternative stops if your planned stop looks unsafe. Ensure that a business partner or family member has your planned itinerary so that if something happens and you don’t check-in or reach your destination, they can notify law enforcement of where you should be.
At night, avoid poorly lit rest areas and truck stops. Poor lighting creates a safety hazard as anyone looking to attack drivers can easily hide in the shadows and darkened bathrooms. Planning (see above) will ensure that you have an alternate stop if your planned location turns out to look unsafe.
Emergency stops and unplanned stops are always a risk for truckers. Ensure that your truck is maintained, including checking your tires, so that you minimize the risk that you have to suddenly stop on the road – especially at night. Also, ensure that you fuel up before leaving and that your planned fuel stops give you plenty of time to find an alternate if needed.
While you’re on the road, stay aware of your surroundings. This is important on the road as you watch for other drivers and off the road to ensure your personal safety. Part of being aware of your surroundings includes staying well-rested. Don’t skip a rest stop or push your sleep time to try to gain a few hours. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to miss something important – including a would-be attacker.
These are just a few tips to help keep you safe on the road. If you’re an owner/operator, contact REY Logistics to see how we can help you maximize your business and stay safe on the road with our logistics planning and 24/7 dispatchers.
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