You are finally off the traffic-congested roadway and safely parked at a truck stop. But you may not be as safe as you think. A large percentage of truck-trailer accidents occur at truck stops which should be the safest place to park. Drivers can never let their guard down when behind the wheel. Trucking accidents are expensive to both the employer and to the driver. Below are a few tips to help reduce a trucking accident/incident at a truck stop: #SafetySunday
1. Plan Ahead
Pre-plan when and where you’re going to stop each day. Obviously, the goal is to avoid highly congested areas and areas with high crime. Tools like Google Earth and the TruckerPath app are great ways to see how crowded an area is in real time.
2. Park Early
Truck stops usually start filling up early in the evening. If you start your day earlier, you can park before others. If you can’t park early, try reserving a parking spot at the truck stop where you plan on stopping.
3. Avoid Parking Near an Entrance
It will be tempting to grab the closest spot when you pull in tired. But parking spots on the end of rows, and in the front third of a parking lot, are where the heaviest traffic and highest chance of accidents are.
4. Be Picky About Who You Park Next to
If the truck next to you is parked over the line, or at an angle, try finding a different spot. If you must park there, it’s not a bad idea to take down their license plate and DOT information.
5. Avoid Backing Out of Spots
It will be much quicker and easier getting back on the road if you choose a spot you can either pull through or back into.
6. Choose a Well-Lit Area
Parking near plenty of bright lights will decrease your chances of being targeted by thieves. Seek out truck stops and department store parking lots that are filled with floodlights.
7. Seal Your Truck
If you’re going to sleep in your truck, close all your windows, put up window screens, and keep valuables out of sight. Consider installing a dash cam for extra peace of mind. Sometimes just the sight of them is enough to deter potential thieves. You can also use bungee cords or tie down straps to latch your truck’s doors shut from the inside.