Whether you’re just starting out as a trucker or you’ve been driving for years, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe. This is especially true when you’re stopped at a truck stop. Truck stops can be the perfect place for criminals to prey on unsuspecting drivers. Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe at truck stops:
- Keep your doors locked and windows up at all times.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often this simple task is forgotten at the end of a long day. Don’t give criminals an easy opportunity to jump into your cab and steal your belongings or worse. Keep your doors locked and windows up whenever you’re stopped, even if you’re just stepping away for a few minutes.
- Be aware of who is around you and what they’re doing.
If someone seems suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, trust your gut and keep your distance. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you are, how long you expect to be there, and where you’re headed next. Take advantage of technology and share your location via GPS. That way, if something happens, someone will know where to look for you.
- Park in well-lit areas whenever possible.
When choosing a spot to park for the night, try to park in a well-lit area near the truck stop office or other businesses. This will help deter would-be criminals and make it easier for cameras, onsite security, or police to keep an eye on things.
- Don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your cab.
If it can’t be helped, try to hide valuables like laptops, GPS units, and cash out of sight before heading inside to eat or shower. Many truck stops have surveillance cameras, but it’s still best not to take any chances. It only takes a few seconds for someone to smash a window and grab whatever they can see.
- Be cautious when using ATMs.
When using an ATM, be aware of who is around you and shield your PIN from view as best you can. Try not to restrict yourself too much in case you need to defend yourself quickly. Trust your instincts—if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. And never hesitate to call for help if you feel like you’re in danger.
Taking these simple precautions can help ensure that your next haul goes off without a hitch—or at least helps you avoid becoming the victim of crime while on the road. By being vigilant and taking precautions, you can help ensure that your next stop is a safe one!