It is heartbreaking to hear or read stories of children and adults being ran over in truck stops, mobbed, robbed, or being beaten up. All of us that drive know there are a lot of blind spots around our truck and should realize when walking we need to stay out of the blind spots on other trucks. We also know of distracted driving when looking for a parking place, when tired, and when trying to get stopped when we have pushed our clocks to the limit.
As the person walking, fueling, or having children in a truck stop we need to take care of our safety so we do not end up on the checked off permanently list. Women I believe tend to be more conscious of where we walk, our surroundings, as well as the lighting.
Something that really scared me badly happened just a few weeks ago and I really wish I would have went and grabbed this driver out of the truck and gave them a tongue lashing. As I was walking back to our truck I was about two feet in front of the trucks and one truck was nosed in and had no lights on. This driver decided to slide his trailer in the parking spot and when the trailer shot back it went all of the way. Another six inches and I would have been right behind that trailer and as fast as it slid I think it would have knocked me several feet. Who in the world noses in to a parking spot with trucks on both sides and slides the trailer? Now when I see a truck nosed in I go ever further behind their trailer out into the lane of traffic, I would rather take my chances with drivers who might see me. The worst of it this driver would have had no clue he had just hit someone and possibly killed me as I would have really been in their blind spot.
Some other Truck Stop Safety Tips
Either don’t carry a purse or keep the purse tucked under your arm
Watch – Watch – Watch for everything and everyone
Watch for trailers shooting backwards..
Truck speeds as they enter the truck stop or leave
Walk in front of trucks at least three feet out so the driver can see you
Eye Contact – If a driver looks like he is getting ready to move the truck make eye contact with them before crossing in front of truck
Don’t walk between trucks and trailers
Walk with a purpose
Walk paying attention to all surroundings from the surface of the road to if someone is hiding by a trailer
Wear good shoes – high heels have a place and it is not the truck stop parking lot
Use flashers to back – let people know your attentions
Park where lighted if possible
Lock doors immediately – if you get out to check something lock the doors
Watch when climbing out of truck for uneven surfaces
Keep a grip on the grab handles and get out of the truck correctly
An older friend of ours that has over five million miles safe driving just about lost his career over a fall when getting out of his truck. When he stepped down he thought he was stepping onto the curb but it had a steep drop off and that is what he stepped onto and fell to the ground with a broken hip. Not only was he in a lot of pain but it took a bit for him to be found and then several months to recover. Amazingly enough he is back driving and working on his next million miles of safe driving.
It is up to us to keep ourselves safe and to do everything possible to keep others safe as we drive our commercial vehicles. Don’t let the dangers that can be avoided in a truck stop prematurely check you out.