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Home » How to Protect Yourself on the Road
June 19, 2023

How to Protect Yourself on the Road




 How to Protect Yourself on the Road

Living and working on the road brings a certain sense of living in the wild west, the last untamed frontier. The freedom of the road, being the big rig that everyone looks up to, navigating the country while others stay safely tucked away at home.

But there are risks associated with the lifestyle. Considering the numerous miles rolling by each day, drivers are much more likely to encounter episodes of road rage; some people are unpredictable and easily agitated. As well, many of us carry highly valued freight, and theft is a legitimate concern for drivers, shippers, and receivers. At times, truck drivers may be isolated due to limited parking availability increasing their exposure to the risk of theft. 

When we think of protection and self-defense, we often consider our right to bear arms. It’s a freedom that many fought for, and that many continue to fight for. While opinions and perspectives land on both sides of the gun rights vs gun control issues, let’s jump right into gun laws and how they affect truck drivers.

United States federal law allows drivers, including truck drivers, to carry firearms. However, they must be locked away and stored unloaded. If that were all, it would be too simple. In fact, there are multiple checkpoints to determine whether you, as a driver, are allowed to carry a firearm.

Concealed carry permits apply in nearly every state, and while visitors are often allowed to carry, it’s not universal; state laws vary. No matter where you find yourself, always carry your permit and check ahead of time what the regulations are for the states you are traveling through.

That said, as with the federal law, it isn’t as simple as what the state laws say. Local laws may contradict state laws; It’s quite difficult to keep up with the regulations for each city let alone each state. So, again, carry your permit with you at all times in the event that you are questioned by authorities. As one lawyer wrote, “The silver lining…is that local ordinances almost never get reported to your license and rarely affect your record.”

Of course, there are also company policies. Chances are, your company has regulations surrounding the carrying of a firearm and it’s your responsibility to be aware of the expectations. Violating company policy provides your employer with just cause for termination of employment.

What else is available for protection?

Carrying a weapon is only one way to protect yourself and should be the absolute last resort. Safety on the road begins with planning ahead and staying aware. Let’s take a look at some additional considerations for your safety and well-being:

●     Stay aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings and be on the lookout for any potential threats.

●     Use common sense: Trust your instincts and avoid, potentially, dangerous situations whenever possible.

●     Use safety devices: There are a variety of safety devices available that can help protect truck drivers, such as personal alarms, pepper spray, or a baton.

●     Stay in well-lit, populated areas: When you need to stop for a break or spend the night, try to find a well-lit, populated area to park in.

●     Stay in communication: Keep your phone with you at all times and make sure someone knows your schedule and route.

●     Consider hiring a security escort: Depending on your freight, some trucking companies offer security escorts to protect their drivers while they are on the road.

By following these precautions and your company-driven policies, you can reduce the risk of harm and increase your chances of staying safe while on the job.

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