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Personal Safety

By: Matt Schiefferly
Vice President Safety Services


Earlier this year we sent out a safety topic regarding cargo and truck theft. While it is important to keep your cargo secure, don’t forget about your personal safety. Truck and cargo thefts as well as hijackings are on the rise and November and December are traditionally exceptionally dangerous months. Here are a few things you can do to minimize your risks:

  1. Carry only a small amount of cash. Convert any cash payments to money orders or deposit as soon as possible.
  2. Avoid parking in secluded, poorly lighted areas, especially at night.
  3. Have a personal security plan in place before stopping.
  4. Try to look like you know where you are going and what you are doing at all times. Looking confused or lost makes you easy prey for an attack. Have your route planned before you leave.
  5. Check your mirrors and look outside your vehicle prior to exiting.
  6. Stay alert as you walk to your vehicle. If anyone appears suspicious or seems to be following you, head for a lighted, heavily populated area.
  7. Don’t spend time by your vehicle looking for your keys, have them in hand ready to go.
  8. While on the road, be alert for “bump and rob” technique. If another vehicle bumps you, don’t get out unless there are several people around. Instead motion for the other driver to follow you, drive to a well lighted safe area to discuss the accident.
  9. Avoid conversations with strangers. What seems like an innocent request for a cigarette or directions can lead to you being robbed or injured.
  10. If you haul target loads (like computers or high value electronics) vary your route. You don’t want to run the same route and times as you can become an easy target.
  11. When hauling high value products keep your load and destination to yourself and on a “need to know” basis.
  12. Be especially watchful immediately after picking up your load. The majority of hijackings occur within a few miles of the pickup point. Freeway on-and off-ramps are particularly dangerous.
  13. Carry information on your person concerning the ID of the tractor and trailers including license numbers. Law enforcement can’t report your truck stolen without this information.
  14. Should a hijacking occur, experts recommend that the drivers do not resist the thieves. Giving up the truck often goes against a trucker’s natural instincts, especially if it is an owner-operator. The load is not worth your life. Besides, most hijackers are interested in the cargo, not the truck. The equipment often is found soon after the incident.

Any questions or comments can be directed to Matt Schiefferly 800-852-1968 or e-mail matts@paulhanson.com.