The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently conducted a survey on driver safety. The results were given to the FMCSA’s Women of Trucking Advisory Board and showed that many drivers, regardless of gender, were victims of harassment and physical assault, as reported by Truckers News.
These results prompted the trucking industry into action; some of those who participated in the survey submitted solutions to the issue of drivers feeling unsafe on the road.
Those solutions include additional parking facilities, increased safety measures at trucking facilities, improved internal communication, permitting drivers to carry firearms, personal safety training, and educational material to raise awareness. Here’s a deeper look into what each of these solutions would entail.
Its no shocking news that truck drivers need more parking accommodations. The results from the FMCSA survey suggest that crime and other unwanted behavior may be happening due to limited parking options. Since drivers are having to seek out unconventional locations to park their rigs for the night, like abandoned parking lots, they are more susceptible to being victims of crime.
Another way to decrease drivers parking in unsafe locations, and a separate solution provided by respondents, is to improve communication between drivers and their fleet managers. When delays happen in the delivery process, drivers may have to park at whatever location is closest – with the shortage of official truck parking facilities, this becomes a problem.
Improving what already exists may be the easiest way to increase the overall safety of drivers. Adding more lighting and other security features may be an easier task to accomplish than creating new parking facilities. Well-lit walkways from parking lots to fueling islands and the store itself, restrooms placed in non-secluded areas, and on-site safety patrol officers should be a priority to increase safety in the truck driving industry.
In the meantime, drivers shared they would feel safer if they were allowed to carry a firearm. This goes beyond most trucking companies’ policies and so, isn’t possible for many drivers. This is a regulation that the drivers who responded to the FMCSA’s survey wish to be lifted for them to achieve higher levels of personal security.
Drivers not only want to take their safety into their own hands by carrying firearms, but they also want personal safety training. Of those who responded to the survey, few drivers indicated that they had never received any personal safety training.
Finally, truck drivers feel as though educational material made to increase awareness could be helpful in ensuring safety. Information could be spread on how to realize a crime may be occurring, how to stop it safely, and how to report the time. Creating procedures for reports of crime to be handled seriously is another way the trucking industry could improve overall safety measures.
Keeping drivers safe is one of the most important responsibilities of the truck driving industry. Adopting some of these solutions will help to increase safety measures and protocol, something that drivers are eager to experience.