An ongoing pandemic threatening normal routines, massive shutdowns across the world, and protests blocking major roadways throughout the United States – suddenly truck drivers are hauling through risky territory. Although the life of a trucker always comes with its unique challenges and threats, the current climate in the United States is really putting pressure on drivers who just want to deliver safely. Although older truckers have faced a whirlwind of less than ideal circumstances over the years, most will agree that these times are unprecedented. For new drivers, these situations are especially intimidating. So, what are the dangers you face when trucking through a protest and how can you protect yourself?
The Dangers of Trucking Through a Protest
There are many dangers of trucking through a protest. Although most protests are peaceful, that doesn’t mean they aren’t blocking traffic. This act in general is a huge inconvenience for truck drivers because it makes you late, throws off your entire schedule, and can cost you money.
When protests turn to riots, this is when things get extremely dangerous for truck drivers. They are at risk of being attacked, and there have been recent stories of rioters throwing bricks and debris at trucks. Incidents also happened where rioters jumped in front of trucks or accidentally fell into the street and were dragged or hit by the truck. Looting and cargo theft are also big issues drivers need to look out for when trucking through a protest.
So, what can you do to keep yourself safe if you end up trucking through a protest?
How to Stay Safe When Trucking Through a Protest
Here are seven safety tips for when you are trucking through a protest.
1. Keep your doors locked
If you are approaching an area with protestors, make sure that your doors are locked. Protests can get out of hand and some of them turn into riots. You want to make sure that they can’t get into your rig with you.
2. Get unbuckled
In the event that you are under attack and rioters might break into your truck, get unbuckled. You want to be able to make a run for it if you need to.
3. Crack your windows
Experts recommend cracking your windows just slightly. A cracked window is actually harder to break than one that is closed tightly.
4. Keep your dashcam on
Keep your dashcam on so that whatever goes down, it is being recorded.
5. If you are a Hazmat hauler, call 911 right away
If you are carrying something that could be harmful, you want to call 911 immediately and let the local police know the situation at hand. They may be able to work faster or call for backup to avoid an even more hazardous situation.
6. Call customers to let them know you’ll be late
If you are relatively safe but simply tied up in protest traffic blocks, call your customers and let them know that you’re going to be late. It’s important to communicate. Although you have no control over your situation, you can try to mitigate the ongoing inconveniences it will ceate for your schedule by letting everyone know what’s going on.
7. Stay calm
The most important thing you can do through all of this is to stay as calm as you possibly can. Regardless if you agree with what people are protesting or not, when the act itself is interfering with you doing your job safely, it is frustrating. However, you don’t want to let your frustration take over and end up hurting someone yourself. That’s why you need to do the best you can to keep your cool. You don’t want to get any unnecessary charges because you retaliated, even if you are provoked.
What has your experience been like trucking through a protest? Share with us in the comments below!