The Do’s and Don'ts of Truck Stop Safety
In this industry we can never preach safety enough as crime seems to evolve and adapt. Staying aware of your surroundings is crucial when traveling, especially for a truck driver. While there are many tools and resources that are available to drivers today, it is important to stay on top of trending crimes and what to look out for.
The world is changing faster than most of us can keep up and it can be difficult to be in-the-know about the kind of crime to look out for. From theft to trafficking there is a lot to cover but with trained eyes and ears it can prevent you from becoming a victim. To make your life a bit easier we have collected a broad range of what to do and what not to do when it comes to all things truck stop safety.
Better safe than sorry
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of crime, let’s talk about the grit under those nails. In this line of work taking a sick day can mean less pay, unwanted health issues, costly doctors visits and the list goes on. So here is a quick do vs. don’t list on truck stop hygiene:
Wash. Those. Hands. After using the restroom, after touching door handles, after pumping gas, before sitting down to eat, basically any time you have to use your hands before you have a chance to touch your face. Hundreds of thousands of drivers pass through truck stops every day from all over potentially carrying germs from wherever they came from, and you are touching the same door handles, so wash up! (Sanitizer counts as well!)
Clean up after yourself. Whether it is your meal or your fixin’s from your coffee on the counter, not only is it polite but it will help others by them not having to touch it and potentially encounter any of your own germs. This goes for the shower as well. Most truck stop showers are clean as it is but a little goes a long way when it comes to cleanliness. Shower shoes? Good call. A mat to lay down your belongings on to avoid your stuff touching surface. Nice. But nothing beats grabbing those 2 or 3 paper towels to open the door on the way out so you can walk away feeling extra squeaky clean.
Cough in open air. When you cough or sneeze, it’s not hard to use your elbow or hand if you have to. While polite as well, it can keep others around you safe and here’s hoping they’ll do the same!
Not wear protective footwear in the truck stop showers. Flying J may have some of the cleanest showers known to truckers but there’s no telling what may have been missed on the shower floor. Let’s not find out.
Pick up produce and put it back. People’s mouths will be on that (maybe they’ll wash it before they eat it?). This is common courtesy, though.
The real dangers
We’ve all heard of theft/ burglary and the dangers of becoming a victim to it but let’s go over what can be done to minimize your risk.
Be aware of your surroundings. Using the senses God gave you, keep your head up, ears and eyes open and stay off that phone when going to and from the truck stop and your truck. Criminals are less likely to go after those that seem more aware and alert of their environment.
Have a phone on your person while traveling. Being able to call 911 whether for police, ambulance or fire is something that could come in handy
Say something. If you are hearing or seeing suspicious activity whether inside or outside a truck stop, speaking up and saying something to the workers there could mean the difference of somebody’s life.
Depending on what you’re comfortable with, it doesn’t hurt to carry a weapon. There is no federal law that restricts truckers from carrying on their truck, however this may differ from company to company. Although a cheater/winch bar might be enough to scare off any would be criminals.
Let someone know where you are outside of your dispatch. Whether it’s family or friends, it is always a good call to have others relevant to you know where you are.
Become complacent. It is easy, especially after years of being on the road, to have a false sense of security. Don’t let yourself become a victim because you’ve been at an area many times before.
Feed into an antagonist. There may be a character or two that you have run into that almost seems like they are wanting to start something. Don’t give in to their remarks as they are holding out for some sort of reaction. Keep a low profile in these situations till you’re away from them.
Fall into scams. Typically, this can be a rare occurrence as attendants are usually notified of any soliciting or con artists that are trying to pull a fast one. Anyone that is hanging around the outside of a stop offering services or goods are usually up to no good.
See? That wasn’t so painful. Maybe you learned something or needed a refresher. Staying safe is all a part of the job and it doesn’t take much to do it!
At Meadow Lark, safety is priority, and we pride ourselves in having a passion for keeping our drivers in good hands. Contact us today to learn more! (877) 590-5450