As COVID waxes and wanes, another pandemic afflicts America – rising crime. Major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many others have witnessed a sharp increase in violent and property crime in 2022 and over the past couple years.
According the NY Times, the Justice Department is “concerned with the stubborn, postpandemic rise in violent crime, and a growing sense that lawlessness is overtaking daily life in many big cities.”
Crime also ebbs and flows with the season, and the warm temperatures of summer usually coincide with more criminal activity.
Reasons for an Increase in Crime
The causes of the increase in crime are heavily debated. One culprit could be a pandemic-related issue of a slower court response times in a variety of cases. The prevalence of guns across sectors of American society, compared to other developed nations also raises the stakes of any acrimonious personal encounter.
The most obvious reason for a rise in crime is, perhaps, a general police pullback in the wake of calls for police reform and general anti-police political sentiment. This is in addition to the social disruptions caused by the protests and riots over the summer of 2020.
5 Truck Driver Safety Tips
Regardless of the reasons, it’s important for truck drivers to make sure they are safe – both on and off the road.
Truck drivers are at risk of any personal crime, from assault, mugging, or rape. And they are also at risk of property crimes like theft of belongings or even freight.
Here are some tips to stay safe, as a truck driver, from rising crime in America:
- Plan Your Route and Parking – One of the biggest problems truck drivers face is a lack of safe parking. When spots fill up at a truck stop, sometimes truck drivers are forced to find an abandoned parking lot or park somewhere off the road. Plan ahead carefully to know where you can find parking.
- End Your Day Early – Drivers are limited in how much they can drive per day, due to HOS regulations. But many drivers have the freedom to plan their days how they choose. By starting your day early and ending early, you have a better chance of finding safe parking before all the truck stop spots fill up at night.
- Choose Your Spot Carefully – When parking, try to park in a well-lit area. Avoid parking on the edge of the truck stop where lighting is poor and people can slip in and out of darkness. Avoid areas where you will have to walk between trailers in shadow, where someone could jump out.
- Tools and Supplies – Make sure you always have a phone on you, and that the phone is charged. Bring a heavy-duty flashlight if you are going to the truck stop restrooms at night. This flashlight can also be used as a weapon. You can also carry pepper spray. If you plan on carrying a firearm, make sure you know the rules and regulations, especially if you are traveling across state lines.
- Theft Prevention – Always have a padlock on your trailer. Put up curtains or window shades when parked, even at a shipper/receiver, so nobody can see any valuables left inside your truck. If you are hauling valuable freight, don’t sit at the truck stop and chat about it. Keep it to yourself.