**This is a guest post by Susan Melony. She is an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast!
Trucker safety has many different elements. If you’re a trucker, you have to avoid drinking or consuming drugs and driving. Driving under influence is a strict no-no. You can never drive if you haven’t slept enough beforehand, and you must keep your truck in perfect working order to avoid crashes and breakdowns.
If you’re a woman in the commercial trucking industry, you’re in the minority. There are traditionally more men in the field, but there is no reason why women should not do it since it pays well and it is steady work. You can support yourself as a woman in this niche, but you should know about some particular dangers as well.
While a trucker of any gender can encounter some occupational hazards, there are some that threaten women more than men from a statistical standpoint. Let’s go over some of our best safety tips for women in the trucking industry.
Carry some sort of a weapon
If you want to stay safe as a truck driver, carrying a legal weapon is one of the best ways to do that. Women in trucking need to watch out for robbery, but also potential harassment, rape, and sexual assault situations. Men can be victims as well, but statistically, women have more to fear in this regard.
Some women may not like the idea of carrying a weapon. You might abhor violence, but this is a safety issue, and as the saying goes, it’s better to have it and not need it instead of the reverse.
You might carry a firearm if you know how to use one, and you can register it. You might also carry a knife, brass knuckles, or a can of pepper spray or mace. Have that weapon ready if you’re ever alone and you stop at a restaurant or truck stop at night.
Take Some Self Defense Classes
Taking some self-defense classes can certainly help female truckers stay safe as well. You might try out karate, Tai Kwon Do, Judo, or something else.
In these classes, you will generally learn how to punch, kick, and strike with the elbow, knee, or head. You can learn about an individual’s most vulnerable parts and how you can exploit them if you ever need to. You can also practice scenarios in class so you will not freeze up if someone ever attacks or threatens you.
You Can Pack Your Own Food
Female truckers can also bring their own food when they go on trips. You might bring along some snack foods if you’re going on a shorter haul, or if you’re going on a longer one, you can cook a meal and bring it along in a Tupperware container.
By doing this, you’ll save some money, and you can eat healthier, but you’ll also make it less likely that you’ll have to stop at any shady truck stops or diners. You might be fine if you visit these establishments, but you never know when an unsavory character might be lurking at one of them. If you avoid these situations entirely, you can stay away from an individual who might want to harm you.
You Can Have a Smartphone on You at All Times
You can bring along your smartphone on every trip you take. As a female trucker, if you ever get in a dangerous situation or suspect someone is up to no good, you can swiftly call 911 and get the police to assist you.
Just be sure that you never use the smartphone to talk or text while you’re driving the truck. That’s illegal in most states since distracted driving kills so many people every year. It’s also against trucking company policies.
You Can Visit Well-Lit Areas
Criminals like darkness to do their work. As a female trucker, if you do need to stop and use the restroom or stretch your legs, you can probably tell from how a place looks whether it might be safe or not. You can never be entirely sure, but you’ll likely learn to trust your instincts.
If you see that a restroom does not have a light next to it, or the light isn’t working, don’t stop there. It’s best if you can find a restroom or gas station that has lots of people around and plenty of light so you can see any possible lurkers.
As long as you watch out for danger, you should be fine. Just be sure never to let your guard down, or you might end up regretting it.