Knowing how to stay safe on the road as a truck driver is essential. In many cases, the conversation focuses on driving safety since truckers spend most of their time behind the wheel. In addition to this, it’s important to keep your personal safety in mind. Female drivers are often more aware of the importance of personal safety on the road, but this is a valuable skill for any trucker to have.
Here are some personal safety tips for truck drivers:
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Situational awareness is a key skill for staying safe. When you are walking from your truck to a rest stop, look around and avoid any distractions. Being on your phone or having headphones in reduces your ability to quickly notice and respond to changes in your environment.
2. Plan Your Trips
Trip planning is a valuable skill for truckers to learn. It helps you travel as many miles as possible while staying compliant with hours of service (HOS) regulations, which translates into higher pay. In addition to this, planning your trips can help you stay safe. You’ll be able to look up truck stops and fuel stations ahead of time and read reviews to help determine which areas are safest.
Making sure you have a good “cushion” of available driving time and back-up truck stops also allows you to trust your intuition. If you pull into a truck stop you planned to stop at and get a strange feeling, you’ll be able to move on to your back-up plan.
3. Be Mindful When Parking
When you park for the night, you’ll need to balance personal safety with the conditions that are best for sleeping. Parking under a bright light may keep you awake, but it can also be a safer option. Over time, you’ll learn how to find a good middle ground where you are not isolated in a dark area but are still able to get the rest you need.
4. Don’t Talk About Your Cargo
Talking about the cargo you are hauling can make you a target for thieves. Don’t share what you are transporting and where you are headed with anyone at truck stops and don’t discuss it on the phone in the open. This is especially important for high-value or hazardous cargo, but it’s a good practice for anyone to follow.
5. Secure Your Cab
Make sure your truck is locked at all times whether you are inside or out of the vehicle. Keep the curtains closed so no one can see you or your belongings inside. One trick to keep the cab even more secure is to run either a seat belt or a ratchet strap through the door handles so they can’t be opened from the outside.
6. Consider a Self-Defense Class
Taking a self-defense class can give you valuable skills to use if you are ever in a dangerous situation. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use these skills, but it can increase your peace and mind.
Drive for A Company That Cares
At DSW, our management is made up of former drivers and we understand what life on the open road is like. We work as hard for you as you work for us and currently have regional and over-the-road jobs available.