Safety Tips For Women Truckers

Topic 9072 | Page 1

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Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar

These tips are very handy. I personally like the one of running your seat belts thru the door handles!!

YOUR HANDS AND FEET

Are you carrying a purse that someone can grab? Do not unless you know how to use it as a weapon. Have your keys ready to unlock the truck before you get to it. Can you hit someone effectively? If not, then find someone to teach you or take a personal defense course. What kind of shoes are you wearing? You should only wear shoes that you can run in without slipping such as: sneakers, boots, moccasins, loafers, or work shoes.

YOUR TRUCK

Always keep your doors locked. Use a device such as running your seatbelts thru the door handles or use a ratchet strap to hold your doors closed while you sleep especially in dangerous areas. Do not have things hanging in your truck windows that can identify you as female. This can alert predators that you are female and they may target you. Leave your sleeper curtains open if running solo, this way you can see if someone is hiding in there before you get in the truck. Never walk around behind your truck at night even to do a pre-trip, wait and do it later, or pull thru the fuel islands and do a walk around. Do not advertise where you are parked for the night. Do not talk on your CB at night while parked in a truck stop. Even with a small radio, someone driving around the truck stop can pin point you within a truck or two. Never allow anyone into your truck unless it is a mechanic or law enforcement officer. It is better to call information and get the local police number in a town than to get on the CB and ask for assistance. If you are broken down on the side of the road, put out your triangles, and then stay in your truck and keep the doors locked until help arrives. Avoid sleeping with your windows or vents open. If you have to park and sleep in a dangerous area, sleep with your head to the passenger side of the sleeper.

THE TRUCK STOP

Try to avoid parking on the back row. Avoid as much as possible leaving your truck after dark. Never sleep where you get your money from either cash advance or ATM. Always carry identification when out of the truck especially at a truck stop. Do not flirt with another driver while inside the truck stop, or out of it either for that matter. If another driver offers to walk you inside or back to your truck, do not allow them alongside of your truck where people cannot see. While it is ok to be pleasant if spoken to by another driver, do not engage in conversation standing in the parking lot after dark. Never get into another driver’s truck. Keep a list of the safe truck stops you run across. Always watch for suspicious activity around your truck when you are walking up to it. If you see anything suspicious return inside and alert the truck stop personnel. If you see suspicious activity while in your truck, stay in your truck and either call the truck stop or dial 911. If anyone approaches your truck, do not roll down your window, just wave them away. Walk around the ends of the parked truck rows, not between the trucks. If your clothing is dark, get some of that reflective tape and put it on when walking at night, or wear a reflective vest.

ODDS AND ENDS

If you are driving at night and see whirling lights behind you and it is a police officer trying to stop you and you are unsure if he/she is real or not; slow down, put on your flashers, and dial 911 with your location to make sure the officer is legitimate. Tell the 911 operator that you will stop at the next lighted exit if there is one close. If someone breaks into your truck while you are sleeping, try to get to the air horn lanyard and blow the horn. You can run a fishing line from the lanyard to the sleeper attaching it with fishing swivels and making a loop on the sleeper end. While many things like mace and pepper spray are illegal in some states, other things do as well as they do and are legal. Lacquer hair spray, perfume, windex, deoderant, spray air fresh- ener, and a fire extinguisher are all legal and can be used to spray in an attacker’s face to give you enough time to run. If you have a pet, walk them before dark or only in well lit areas. One of those canned fog horns sold in sporting sections of stores works well as an emergency alarm to attract help. Make a list of your common stopping places and give it to your family. Use I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) in your cell phone to designate your emergency contacts.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Muleskinner 6's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I totally agree with the others in this thread that you should immediately stop as soon as you see the wig-wags behind you. As a former Law Enforcement Officer (Oh great here comes the jokes and hating) I also highly do not recommend you call 911 and inform the dispatcher of your intentions and keep driving until you find a “safe” place to pull over. In the western states that might be 30 - 50 miles.

First of all it depends on where you are at when you call 911 you might get a total different agency than the one that is currently attempting to conduct a traffic stop on you. The county that I worked in was 6000 square miles and depended where you were when you called 911 you might get one of about seven different agencies. So if you call and get the wrong one and get a lazy dispatcher you will be told they do not have any officers in that area. Next thing you are doing is thinking this is a fake cop with ill intentions and you continue to drive. BAD Idea. Do not be surprised if a few miles down the road you encounter another cop sitting on the side of the the road with his lights flashing. Just be aware as you pass them you will soon be hearing all of your tires going flat as you run over the "Stop - Sticks".

I know it will be very hard to see if it is a “real” cop that is pulling you over at night but be aware that the cop car will not just have the wig-wags (red and/or blue) lights. They will also have take down lights which are the very bright white lights between the red and blue flashing lights. Also it will have a spot light on the driver side of the windshield. If it is a real officer they will park in a way that their take down and spot lights are both shining into your driver side mirror. There is a reason for this but do not be surprised if the officer climbs up on your passenger door and scares the hell out of you while you are watching your driver side mirror trying to see him/her.

Second there is a Supreme Court Decision on a similar case where an underage girl was being pulled over and she called her mom and her mom told her to keep driving until she got to a business with a litghted parking lot. She continued to drive for another 20 miles at the posted speed limit and when she finally stopped the officer arrested her and impounded her vehicle. In the end the Supreme Court ruled the officer was doing what he was trained to do and there was no excuse for her not to stop.

So if you feel the need to keep driving to find a “safe” place to stop that is your personal decision but expect to be removed from your truck and taken to jail, your truck and load towed, you and your company will have to pay a hefty tow bill, and don’t expect the tow driver to make sure your refer has plenty of fuel so your load won’t spoil.

Just my 2 cents

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
C. S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
So you are driving out on a deserted road and then a car comes out of nowhere (especially those that cannot be easily identified as police cars), there's no one else out there but you......noooo I think I will call 911 and find out if there is a real police operating on that road. By calling 911 and reporting you are afraid to stop coz you are not sure that is a legitimate officer, you are 'covering your back'.

You're free to do what you want. Just do not be surprised when you get a ticket, get a level 1 inspection, get your truck torn apart to search for drugs/alcohol/weapons etc. Police officers are trained to be suspicious of people who refuse to immediately pull over, and for good reason. Most people who do this have something to hide. The officer is unlikely to sympathize that you didn't think he or she was real. The first question will likely be 'Did you see my lights and hear my siren?'

If the unit who pulls you over happens to be commercial vehicle enforcement, things will be even worse. The DOT is notorious for not screwing around. I say this as a driver who's been pulled over several times at night, a few of which were on 'deserted' roads. I never thought to continue driving and call 911, but if I had I can virtually guarantee those nights would have gone quite differently.

Again, you can do whatever you wish. It's your truck, you are the captain of the ship. It's just my opinion that this is not a good practice, and I want other new and potential drivers to understand the possible ramifications of doing something like this.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Adonieve S.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Actually, if you call 911, explain you are being pulled over to the dispatcher , the dispatcher relays the information to the unit. You have full rights to do this as any vehicle owner. You are not refusing to pull over, so you are not breaking laws, you are however concerned about your safety, and unless the DOT or officer in question has a chip on their shoulder they should not hold that against you. Even if they do, better to be safe, then sorry.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar
If you have to park and sleep in a dangerous area, sleep with your head to the passenger side of the sleeper

Why?

Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

If you have to park and sleep in a dangerous area, sleep with your head to the passenger side of the sleeper

double-quotes-end.png

Why?

Deb, I have no idea. Just copied the above from another website...womentruckers.org (not sure).

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

I've just got a crazy b**ch with me. Really, her name is Dynamite. No one gets close to the truck with out me knowing, and though she is a sweetheart on then ground, she knows what "sic 'em" means.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

Jenny, I have my dog along too. Makes a huge difference in my comfort level / feeling safe.

Allison M.'s Comment
member avatar

Isn't it sad that we have to worry about things like this?

Great tips though :)

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

We have always had to. The worst part is, most every guy out there is not "that guy" from whom we are threatened. Yet, we have to be so on guard that even the good guys can end up shunned by us. Sorry good guys, I know you're all over out here.

Hoofinit's Comment
member avatar

Wow! Awesome tips. Thanks so much for posting. I would add, when your walking to and from your truck, keep your heap up and watch your surroundings at all times. Most people become victims because they are unaware of there surroundings. The attacker typically targets easy prey, they don't want a fight. Another thing to add, if you put your keys on a Keychain stick, they become a weapon you can utilize in your defense. Always aim for the three vital areas, thoat, eyes and groin.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar
If you are driving at night and see whirling lights behind you and it is a police officer trying to stop you and you are unsure if he/she is real or not; slow down, put on your flashers, and dial 911 with your location to make sure the officer is legitimate. Tell the 911 operator that you will stop at the next lighted exit if there is one close.

This is not good advice in my opinion and I wouldn't recommend anyone try this in a CMV. You must stop as soon as safely possible for law enforcement. Failing to do so is illegal and will at best lead to a hefty fine; at worst it will lead to your arrest, losing your job, etc. Note that anyone impersonating law enforcement who is targeting trucks is almost certainly not looking to hurt you; more likely they are trying to steal your load. Pulling into a well lighted area will not prevent that, if a hijacker wants to take your truck they will take it. All you will do by calling 911 and refusing to pull over is get yourself in hot water with a lot of real cops.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Serah D.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

If you are driving at night and see whirling lights behind you and it is a police officer trying to stop you and you are unsure if he/she is real or not; slow down, put on your flashers, and dial 911 with your location to make sure the officer is legitimate. Tell the 911 operator that you will stop at the next lighted exit if there is one close.

double-quotes-end.png

This is not good advice in my opinion and I wouldn't recommend anyone try this in a CMV. You must stop as soon as safely possible for law enforcement. Failing to do so is illegal and will at best lead to a hefty fine; at worst it will lead to your arrest, losing your job, etc. Note that anyone impersonating law enforcement who is targeting trucks is almost certainly not looking to hurt you; more likely they are trying to steal your load. Pulling into a well lighted area will not prevent that, if a hijacker wants to take your truck they will take it. All you will do by calling 911 and refusing to pull over is get yourself in hot water with a lot of real cops.

So you are driving out on a deserted road and then a car comes out of nowhere (especially those that cannot be easily identified as police cars), there's no one else out there but you......noooo I think I will call 911 and find out if there is a real police operating on that road. By calling 911 and reporting you are afraid to stop coz you are not sure that is a legitimate officer, you are 'covering your back'.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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