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9 essential safety tips for truck drivers
A recent spike in the number of hijackings and attacks on freight vehicles across South Africa has seen a number of drivers and their cargo fall prey to highly-organised criminals. Whether you’re a seasoned long-distance truck driver or have recently starting hauling freight, it’s crucial that you arm yourself with the relevant safety know-how. Make sure you’re following the below tips to keep you and your fellow drivers out of harm’s way.
- Make it easy to contact emergency assistance services
Save the appropriate emergency numbers to a favorites list on your phone. In case something does happen, you’ll save precious time in requesting help and notifying the relevant authorities. In addition, keep a backup phone charging cable and airtime voucher close by.
- Leave windows open 2cm
If you don’t have anti-smash and grab film fitted, leave your windows open (maximum 3cm). Closed windows are easier to smash than those that are open a few centimeters. If someone does attempt to smash your window, you’ll have enough of a warning to drive off.
- Familiarise yourself with your intended and alternate routes
Memorize the location of safe spots to navigate towards if you feel threatened or targeted, as well as alternative routes you can take in case of an emergency.
- Keep moving if you feel threatened
If you suspect that you’re being followed, or if you feel unsafe at any point in your journey, keep driving until you reach a well-lit, populated area.
- Refrain from picking up hitchhikers
Never stop to give a lift to anyone – regardless of who’s flagging you down for a lift. Hijackers are becoming more and more sophisticated, enlisting the use of children and females to pose as hitchhiers or persons requiring help.
- Don’t stop to help motorists in distress
Now’s not the time to be a good Samaritan. If you see a motorist who requires help, call or radio the relevant authorities instead of pulling over.
- Keep vehicle information within easy reach
Have the make and model of the vehicle you’re driving, as well as the license plate number and VIN number on hand. In the event of a hijacking, having the above information close by aids law enforcement in acting quickly and swiftly.
- Switch up your routine
If you drive the same route regularly, changing your routine can keep you safe. Alternate between rest stops and arterial roads in order to avoid becoming an easy target due to your predictability.
- Stop with other trucks
There’s safety in numbers on the road. When you need a rest, park your vehicle next to other trucks to avoid being singled out. If there aren’t any other drivers in your chosen rest spot, make sure you’re n a well lit area that’s frequented by other drivers.
Road safety begins with drivers and their employers. Make sure you’re protected against all possible scenarios by investing in the proper insurance. Fill out the form above to get a competitive quote.