Safety Concerns: How Truckers Can Protect Themselves

Always be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut instincts. Keeping yourself out of potentially dangerous situations is key to a proper self-defense technique.

Whether you are a female or male trucker, it is important that you think about your safety at all times. One of the major downsides of trucking is the fact that your work will take you to all kinds of unfamiliar, and potentially dangerous locations. Taking safety seriously will lower your chances of becoming a victim. Although your general welfare should be priority #1, try to keep an eye our for your neighbors as well. If everyone watches out for one another, a lot of incidents can be prevented. If you see something suspicious, report it to the local authorities. Here are a few things to think about the next time you are out on the open road.

Weapons:

When people think of a weapon, typically the first thing that comes to mind is a firearm. Many drivers don’t actually carry firearms for a variety of reasons. Not only can it be surprisingly difficult to legally carry a gun everywhere you go, but most freight companies prohibit their drivers from carrying firearms of any kind. Going further, most shippers/receivers ask that firearms not be brought onto the property under any circumstances. Don’t let this get you down. There are plenty of everyday items that make effective weapons in the event of an emergency. We recommend that you find a weapon with a wide attack range so that you don’t have to come into close contact with an attacker. The goal should be to keep the attacker as far away from you as possible.

Here are a few ideas for both close and wide range attacks:
1. Bear mace
2. Hornet spray
3. Baseball bat or a broom stick
4. Screwdriver
5.Hammer
6. Padlock

Common Sense is Key:

Use your head! Try to keep yourself out of harm’s way and avoid dangerous situations whenever possible. The key to this is remaining aware of your surroundings and listening to your gut instincts. Stay in well lit and populated areas and avoid stopping in questionable locations. Rest stops can be dangerous places at night. Try to avoid walking across dark parking lots and going into bathrooms alone at night if you can help it. Criminals can wait to corner you when you least expect it.

Never allow yourself to fall into a trap. If strangers approach your truck and say something to lure you out of it, stay put! Lock your doors and report their behavior to the authorities. Don’t talk about your truck or cargo over the radio or at truck stops where someone with bad intentions may hear. If you are in an unfamiliar area, you may also want to consider dressing down. Don’t wear expensive clothing or jewelry because you may be making yourself a target. Never leave your keys in the truck and always carry a charged cell phone with you in the event that you may need it.

Stopping/Sleeping Safety:

Driver fatigue can really increase your chances of becoming a victim. You may be so eager to climb into bed and go to sleep that you forget to lock your doors. Try to have habits in place that will lower your chances of forgetting to do something important for your general safety. For instance, lock your doors automatically every time you get in the truck or check that your cargo is properly locked up after you park.

Never leave expensive items like electronics within view. Hide all of your valuables and keep the curtains over your windows shut at all times. Leaving the curtains closed will also make it appear that someone else may be sleeping in your cab. Try to deter potential attackers by making it look like someone else is in the truck. If a stranger asks if you are driving alone, lie to them.

If you find yourself being robbed, try to survive at all costs. Comply if possible and try not to aggravate them. Nothing in the truck is worth your life. If you are being physically harmed and cannot get away safely, fight back and make as much noise as possible. Criminals will not want attention drawn towards the scene and they are more likely to flee if you are making things difficult for them. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for truck drivers to take up self-defense. Learn how to act in the event of an attack and do everything in your power to avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations.

“Fear is a healthy instinct, not a sign of weakness. It is a natural self-defense mechanism that is common to felines, wolves, hyenas, and most humans. Even fruit bats know fear, and I salute them for it. If you think the world is weird now, imagine how weird it would be if wild beasts had no fear.” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

Click HERE to learn more about how truck drivers are taking initiative to stop human trafficking. Just another way people are focusing on safety and making the world a slightly better place.

Stay safe out there!

 

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