Tips on How to Stay Safe
Moving freight safely and securely is a priority for all truck drivers. While highly valued commodities are always theft targets, hazmat shipments capable of environmental damage must also be protected with the utmost care. With that being said, here is a list of tips all truckers should follow if they’d like to avoid being hijacked.
On the Road
- Be alert when leaving. Criminal surveillance often begins at, or within a mile of, your origin.
- Do NOT discuss your cargo, destination, or other tip specifics on open channels or near people you do not know.
- If you believe you are being followed, call 911 and your dispatcher immediately.
- Avoid being boxed in. Where possible leave room in front of and behind your truck.
- Look for vehicles following you, especially if there are three or more people in a car.
- If you believe you are being hijacked, try to keep your truck moving.
- Leave your truck in a secure parking lot or truck stop if possible. If not, be certain someone can watch your vehicle.
- If team driving, always leave one person with the truck.
- Never leave your vehicle running with the keys in it; shut off the engine and lock the doors.
- If at all possible, do not stop in “hot spots” – unsafe or high crime areas.
- Always lock the cargo doors with padlocks.
- Use seals to prevent and identify tampering.
- Use an engine kill switch.
- Use tractor and trailer brake locking devices.
- Criminals know about electronic tracking systems and how to dismantle them; check your system regularly, and notify dispatch when it’s not working.
- If you drop a trailer, use a fifth wheel lock whenever possible.
Use common sense
According to a study by the Opinion Research Corporation in 2007, 21% of Americans have left their car unlocked and 33% have left their vehicle running while unattended. Hopefully no truckers are a part of this group. And keep in mind that some insurance companies don’t cover an unattended vehicle that is left running.