As drivers, we are constantly monitoring our surroundings and driving defensively around others on the road. As important as that is, I was reminded by headlines in my local town last week, that it is just as important to keep your guard up even long after you have parked. I was taught as a young child that evil likes to hide in the dark shadows of night, so I am all the more cautious of my surroundings in the hours of darkness.
As I flipped through the daily news feed of my hometown local paper, I was alarmed that the local Pilot truck stop had made headlines in the crime section. This truck stop has typically been known for being a relatively safe travel center with a steady flow of patrons around the clock. It seems as though a truck driver who decided to take their dog for a quick walk shortly after midnight, probably a standard potty break for the animal, found themselves in a frightening predicament. The driver was approached by two armed robbers who demanded at gunpoint the driver hand over their wallet and then fled after turning up with no money in the wallet.
Though this driver found themself at the wrong place at the wrong time, it serves as a reminder to me that something like this could happen to anyone. More often than not, it is dark outside when I go out and pre-trip my equipment, sliding in between trailers and crawling under areas to check things, where it would-be easy for a thief hiding in the shadows to see me as a target. The driver’s job of being defensive does not end once the air brakes are set! Try to park where it is well lit and always remain aware of your surroundings. Try to make sure others see you as well, so that you may have someone to come to your aid if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Don’t let the thieves out there take away your feelings of safety, just try to be aware so you are one step ahead of them!