As professional drivers, we frequent the large cities of the U.S. everyday. I was in New York when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time in 1993 and I know many of you were in the vicinity of New York and the Pentagon on 9-11. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in areas of mass civil unrest from time to time. These are extremely dangerous situations and we must protect ourselves and our equipment.
The Baltimore riots are happening as I write this and are a needed reminder for us to watch ourselves. Here are some tips to protect ourselves and our equipment:
- Be aware of your surroundings- keep informed by watching, reading or listening to news reports.
- Sign up for alerts on your smart phone. I learned about the riots in Baltimore by getting an alert on my smart phone Monday afternoon. That's valuable knowledge if you're heading to Baltimore for a delivery!!
- Check the weather report for your destination and locations along the way.
- Don't go in to areas where civil unrest is happening. When in doubt, call the local police for information. Reginald Denny was a truck driver nearly beaten to death in the LA riots of 1992. He was not paying attention and shouldn't have been in the area.
- Always have your doors locked.
- Be especially alert at traffic lights and other areas where traffic stops. The military calls these "choke points" and they are prime locations for an attack.
- Know your route and have multiple exit strategies.
- Be alert for crazy drivers. When panic hits an area, people forget about traffic safety and only think of getting away from a situation.
In this blog, I didn't talk about hand guns, brass knuckles or any other types of weapons of personal protection. I only talked about awareness of our surroundings and avoiding danger. I truly believe that following these tips will help us avoid an overwhelming majority of dangers in an area of civil unrest.