We all know the importance of safety in our profession. Working alone and hauling valuable cargo, some company drivers may find themselves in risky situations. Making sure you and your truck are secure is essential. Your truck, yourself or both may be targeted, so we put together a list of tips on how to stay safe in both situations.
Securing your truck
If you’re spending the night out of your truck, you’re leaving your vehicle and your cargo unguarded, so the risk of theft is somewhat increased. Even so, there are some steps you can take to minimize this risk.
This might be an obvious step, but let’s cover the basics first. Of course, the truck must be locked when you’re away or asleep in the cabin. But it’s also wise to keep the doors locked even when you’re awake in the idle truck. You never know what may happen, so it’s better to stay on the safe side.
Use a Portable Car Alarm
Portable alarms are easy to install and can be found at most hardware stores. You can even order one online, so they are a convenient way to protect your truck. They can ward off unwarranted attention, and alert others that may be close to your truck.
Be selective about where you park
What’s great is that safe is also comfortable. So search for well-lit and frequented locations because light itself will most likely drive potential danger away. Rest areas with guards or security cameras are the safest option, of course.
What Should Truck Drivers Do to Protect Themselves?
It’s important to protect your truck, but it’s still crucial to protect yourself. Unpleasant encounters can happen to anyone, and truck drivers are no exception. Luckily, it’s our second nature to be prepared for this kind of situation based on safety training and shared experiences. We’ll try to summarize what most of the experienced drivers already do instinctively.
Make Sure the Rest Area is Safe
Rest areas are not famous for being the safest places to spend a night. Still, some have better reputations than others, so it would be wise to do a little online check before parking at a rest stop.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When out of the truck, try to be aware of who’s around and/or behind you. Again, this is applicable to anyone walking alone in the dark, not just truck drivers. If you spot the suspicious behavior early, you have more time to react.
Keep Your Cellphone Charged
Your cellphone is your fastest way of getting assistance in case of any emergency. You should always carry the phone with you when leaving the truck, even if you’re just going out for a routine check.
Never Walk Between Trailers
Walking between trailers at night can be eerie just about anywhere, and for a good reason. So it would be the wisest to keep the night visits to the back of your truck at the bare minimum. If you do have to walk to the back of your truck, be sure to carry a flashlight. And don’t forget your phone!
Outsmart, Don’t Fight
Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we find ourselves face to face with danger. In those moments, there is usually no going back. However, there is a trick that you can try before anything else. Make a lot of noise. This could not only increase your chances of getting help but could also scare away the intruder. If you have your flashlight or any other heavy object with you, hit anything metal that you run past. Yelling “Fire!” is a smart thing to do as well. People don’t always respond when they hear “Help!”, but the danger of fire will alert anyone. A Screaming Meanie alarm could also come in handy in situations like these.
Call the Police if You Spot any Suspicious Activity
Whenever you see something suspicious, you should immediately call the police. This is the best way to protect your truck, yourself, and others. You should avoid taking the matter into your own hands unless there is truly no likelihood of any sort of help. You also shouldn’t ignore suspicious situations, even if it’s not you who’s in direct danger. You could help someone else by alerting law enforcement.
We believe that the safety of the drivers should always come first in the trucking business. We have covered road safety tips concerning responsible driving in another article, and many other articles on our blog are dedicated to various aspects of trucker safety and wellbeing. For even more tips, follow us on our YouTube channel Extra Mile International Inc Trucking Company, and visit our Instagram profile @extramiletx.
Have a nice trip!