Being a woman in trucking can be an incredible and stressful experience. Trucking is seen as a dangerous and dirty job and it is; that doesn’t mean women can’t do it. More women are entering the trucking industry because it's a stable job that offers great benefits. It’s important that women have the tools they need to stay safe while on the road.
This article will provide tips for female truck drivers to stay safe while driving long distances as well as staying safe at rest stops.
6 Tips for Female Truck Driver Safety
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is the most important tip for truck driver safety. Always be aware of your surroundings when outside of your truck. Truck stops can be pretty dangerous places. Many truck stops have poor lighting making it hard to see potholes or other obstructions and easier to get robbed. When at a truck stop, don’t stare at your phone, watch your surroundings. Park in the front line if you can, or under a light if that’s not available. Don’t walk between trucks as this makes it harder for you to be seen. When sleeping in your truck, take great measures to ensure the doors are locked. You can even loop the seatbelt through the door handles so that, even if the doors were to come unlocked, no one would be able to get in.
- Plan Bathroom Breaks
Bathroom breaks aren’t something that male truck drivers have to think about and plan out as much as women. When you’re on the road, bathroom break locations can be few and far between. When planning out your route, also plan your bathroom breaks. You should always be well stocked with the appropriate materials in case of an emergency. Sometimes supervisors are insensitive to female needs, it’s better to be on the safe side and have everything you require in your truck.
- Choose your Carrier Wisely
When choosing a carrier, you want to make sure you find a company that will respect you. Truck driving has been a male dominated industry for a long time and some carrier companies may not respect female truck driver safety the way they should. Truck Driver Institute’s South Bend, IN truck driving school, for example, is known for helping graduates find the carrier that best suits their needs with free hiring services for all students. You want to find a company that will listen to your needs and concerns and work with you to implement necessary changes. Finding the right truck driver carrier will take a lot of research but it will be worth it to join other women in trucking. When searching, take a look at the people they have driving for them. If they have several female drivers employed with them, they may be a good company for you.
- Have the Appropriate Gear
A large part of truck driving is being prepared for many things. While you can track the kind of weather you’ll be driving into, nothing is guaranteed. Stay prepared by having some of these keeping some of these essentials in your truck.
- Rain coat
- First aid kit
- Work gloves
This is not an exhaustive list of truck driver safety essentials but it's a good place to start. It’s a great idea to have a first aid kit in your truck because you never know what kind of medical issue may arise be it big or small. A flashlight/headlamp is always helpful in case you must inspect your truck at night. Truck inspection is something you’ll learn at Truck Driver Institute’s CDL training Louisville, KY area school. When inspecting your truck, or doing any other kind of truck related work, it’s good to have work gloves. Work gloves will protect your hands from any unnecessary injuries and will come in handy more often than you think.
- Always Have Your Own Food
There are a lot of opportunities to purchase food on the road. While these options may be convenient, they’re not always the best or healthy. Many new trucks have mini fridges on them so it’s easier to pack your own food and not have it go bad. Bringing your own food gives you healthy options while on the road and minimizes the number of times you have to risk your safety by getting out of your truck. Being seated for long periods of time can be bad for your health, but if you’re traveling at night, it’s safer to stay in your truck than leave to get food.
- Talk to Other Female Drivers
Having a support system can help you be a successful woman in trucking. As the field grows, and more women become a part of the trucking industry, it’s important to reach out and talk to others. By talking to other women in transportation, you can stay connected and safe while on the road. Truck Driver Institute’s CDL training Indianapolis students, for example, have discussed how having other women in training can be encouraging as you enter the industry. CDL training is a great time to make connections with other drivers and learn the secrets of the trade from instructors.
Join the Women in Trucking Today!
More women are entering the trucking industry every day and you could be one of them. Truck Driver Institute is a CDL training program that has many different locations all over the United States. Its program is efficient, 3 weeks long, and affordable.
The more women who enter the trucking industry, the faster there can be positive changes to make the industry more diverse and inclusive. There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding truck driving, many people believe that you have to be tall and strong in order to be a truck driver. This may have been the case years ago, but it’s not anymore. There are many automated systems that don’t require you to have to lift or pull anything. Truck driving is an industry that anyone can be a part of and with these truck driver safety tips, you can join the women in trucking and get your career on the road.
"How to Stay Safe as a Female Truck Driver" is a guest post provided by Lauren Gast, Director of Marketing and Communications at Truck Driver Institute, a truck driving school with eleven campuses across the United States. Lauren has been in her role with TDI since 2015.