Staying Safe on the Road
Women face many challenges in the male dominated industry of trucking. Of the estimated 3,000,000 truckers, 200,000 are believed to be women. This is a 50% increase in the last thirteen years. With the economy growing and the FMCSA ELD mandate reducing the number of hours that can be driven in a day, the demand for truck drivers is beyond the supply of drivers available. Women are filling this role more than every before. Women who are entering phase two of life after children, find themselves available for a life on the road making a good income. This shift in the workforce is not without risk.
Female truck drivers report a host of safety issues while being on the road. One can image the potential for safety issues on a truck lot with 500 trucks and needing to use the truck stop facilities late at night. Females can take several basic precautions to improve their safety.
Try these easy to take safety steps:
- Maintain situational awareness at all times.
- Avoid areas where you can be isolated.
- Use a video camera that records inside and outside the truck and transmits to the cloud.
- Report all incidents in writing, even if you have to get job. With the current demand, there are lots of opportunities.
- Know how to record conversations on your phone if you feel uncomfortable with a trainer or coworker and save directly to the cloud. There are apps just for this.
- Park in a well lit area.
- Park on the end so you don’t have to walk between trucks.
- Avoid inspections after dark when possible.
- Keep your eyes, open head up and ears on alert when walking around the truck.
- Carry a 3 D-cell flashlight with a flashing mode which can be used as a weapon, to disorient an attacker and draw attention.
- Carry mace or better yet, bear spray. You don’t have to be a perfect shot with bear spray.
- Put an alarm on the truck with a wireless remote. This allows you to get right into the truck when approaching or activate the panic button.
- Keep a firearm in your truck but be aware of the risk of carrying a concealed weapon in some states.
- Secure the doors with the seat-belts.
- Travel in pairs and park next to other trusted drivers.