How To NOT Become A Missing Trucker!
By communicating with someone you know in advance where you are going to travel and by being aware of your surroundings at all times. This will help anyone including those that are not truck drivers greatly reduce the risks associated with becoming abducted, kidnapped or becoming a missing person.
When we as people implement these two options into our daily routines. We gain knowledge of the details of our surroundings, it allows us to be more descriptive and remember more vital information.
When we also share that knowledge with people we trust, by communicating with them we are providing them with details for an if in case you become a missing person.
When someone becomes a missing person, it doesn’t matter which industry you work in. However, when you are a truck driver, your chances of being abducted, kidnapped or missing due to an unknown can greatly increase significantly.
To help you avoid being abducted, kidnapped or become a missing person, read our helpful survival tips below in this illustrated guide. Your life may depend on it!
Communicate So No-One Assumes Your A Missing Trucker!
When we communicate this information with our friends, family, and people we may work with. It allows for multiple avenues of people to collaborate with each other to find you if in case you ever do become a missing person or become a missing trucker.
By including where you are, where you are traveling to and the route you are taking. This information at least allows those that care about you to have a better idea of where to begin to look if the need to do so arises. Many times, when a trucker goes missing, he or she is not found for a few weeks or much later to an infinite amount of time later.
During the day, I provide the following information to my wife without it sounding like stranger danger. Casually while on a phone call with her I will tell her “I am going to _____ today. I will be traveling along interstate ___ to US Highway ___ and then to ____ customer.”
I also include in this communication a variation of “I told my dispatcher I should arrive around ___ time to ___ time.” Even though many times it’s a window of 30 minutes to an hour of time. It’s still better than providing nothing.
When I park, even if my wife is sleeping, I send her a text message that provides the following information:
City and State I am parked in for the night and duration of my break.
Off of which highway, interstate, a road that I am parked off of, along with the number or street name of the exit.
If I am parked in a parking lot, a general idea of where within the parking lot I am parked
The business name of the location that I am parking within or near.
With these pieces of information, that takes me less than a minute to text to my wife, I provide an ability for her to find me if in case something occurs to me.
Here’s an example of a text I have sent her that is a screenshot from my phone. You’ll see that it doesn’t say I am going to be parked here for any amount of time. Though since I said good night, my wife knows that pretty much means roughly about 10 hours to 11 hours I will be at this place.
I may awake within 8 hours of going to sleep, so she should expect my awaking message any time from 8 hours to 9.5 hours from that moment.
Communicating when you wake up is just as important. It provides a sign that you are okay and active to your family and friends. Calling into your dispatcher to provide an update on your travel also provides additional information that you are okay.
Truck Driver Don’t Tell A Soul!
There have been countless times I have sat in a truck stop diner and another truck driver has asked me, “Where ya headed driver?” Before I answer this question here, let me give you a little bit of insight. The majority of truck drivers are simple, laid back, honest and hard working people. Really, we are.
That’s not to say there may or not be a few bad seeds within the trucking industry. So even though someone may be nice, kind and sincere and just wants a friendly face to chat with. I will never provide this information to anyone I do not know.
Instead, I’ll respond with this, “Well that depends on how well this food I’ve ordered and my tummy get along.” I’m never rude right off the bat. I always try to make a good something out of an unknown uncertainty.
With my above response, normally there’s a chuckle or a laugh of some sort and then we’ll continue talking about other things.
When someone provides information from a question of, “Hey driver, where ya headed?” Sit for a minute and imagine the possible outcomes that could take place from this. While you imagine this, also include these thoughts in your process of thinking:
- Did they follow me from where I just loaded from?
- What is the value of the freight I am hauling?
- What am I hauling?
- Why does this person I do not know, want to know where I am headed?
- Does this person have more people waiting outside?
- Am I in a position to defend myself?
- Where are my truck keys?
- How far away is my truck parked?
Now, this may appear to come across as overly cautious. Though in trucking when your load is valued at $50,000 or maybe in the neighborhood of $5,000,000 (it can be worth much more). This is just an example.
Truck keys, auto keys, these keys when placed in your hand a certain way, can be utilized as a weapon for self-defense believe it or not.
How many “bad seeds” do you think would be willing to do whatever it takes, to take that from you in an unfriendly manner? Meaning, they do not care what happens to you in the process of them achieving their goal.
Trucker Avoid Abduction By Not Being A Easy Target!
When you present yourself in a manner that draws attention to you. You unknowingly attract the attention of others that maybe you didn’t want the attention from. People of all walks of life travel around from place to place.
From truck drivers, vacationing families, people traveling because of work, and even other kinds of people that travel from town to town looking for their next target. As your walking around the various places you may stop at for a break of some sort.
Keep in mind you never know who is looking for their next victim. Walking across a sidewalk swinging a purse or going through your wallet is something that could catch you off guard and in a various dangerous situation rather quickly.
If your wearing sandals or any kind of footwear that is difficult to defend yourself in, run in, or any type of footwear that is difficult to do anything but walk in. This type of footwear may not be the best choice when in an unfamiliar area.
Instead, wear footwear that allows you the ability to be extremely active that will not cause you to lose your balance. Keep your wallet snug and out of sight. If you’re a woman that is taking your purse, keep it close to you, maybe under your shoulder, tight with your free hand also holding onto it.
Now not all places on earth will require this type of mentality. Though just remember to be polite to everyone, even strangers. At the same time also be assertive. Don’t accept consumables from unknown people. Food, drinks, cigarettes, chewing gum, chewing tobacco, and anything else we could think of. Only because, do you know for sure, 100 % without a doubt they did not add anything to it that will harm you? If you answer no, or are unsure. Then it is best to not accept the item.
Trucker Don’t Allow Yourself To Become Lost!
Trucking has allowed me to have the opportunity to have been able to travel to many different places. Of all of the places I have been, I can honestly say I don’t tend to run into any issues with people. Doesn’t matter if I am in the area because of trucking or visiting or what not.
I always know where I am. I obtain an understanding of my surrounds by paying attention to detail. By knowing the details around me, I can provide information if need be. This also allows me to think through the mentality of the people within the area.
Some areas appear rough and tough. At times the people may also promote this appearance in one manner or another. Though this could or could not mean that the area is high in crime. At the same time, never provide anything with the benefit of the doubt if you are uncertain.
By looking around, seeing that you are on this street name, next to the bank or at the truck stop. You notice the guy with the cardboard sign sitting on the corner, you see that there are about 18 cars parked in the car parking lot area. You know that your truck is next to a light pole, with no other trucks parked near it.
You have gathered that there is or no security at this location. You obtain all of this information. Even though you have gathered all of this information. Does not mean you are secure. If you are planning on going out into town keep these keys to safety in mind:
Illegal taxi’s do not only tend to try and scam you out of your money but what else are they willing to possibly do?
GPS is not always reliable, try to save a map of the entire area that you are traveling to and from. So that a worst-case scenario you can find your own way back safely rather than having to ask a stranger because your GPS is failing to work correctly.
Avoid trips to unfamiliar locations that you feel unsafe within. If at any moment your gut tells you, that where you are is dangerous. Get out of it.
Do not walk into dark allies during the evening and early morning hours. Try to remain near well-lit areas, and stay clear of dark areas.
Overall just know where you are, your surroundings and how to get out based on how you got into the area. If you feel you are in a dangerous area and if you feel you can safely exit the area by going a different route out. Then I suggest taking the different route out so that you have a better chance of escaping.
Trucker If Your Life Is On The Line, Don’t Go Down Without A Fight!
When I am out trucking along, all I want to do is to get to the destination, get unloaded, reloaded and repeat this process till I am done with work and able to go home. I don’t know too many truck driver’s that want to do anything else while trucking.
The sooner we are done trucking along the highways, the sooner we as a truck driver can return home. Home time is always the priority just after being a safe truck driver. On our adventures of the big road at times we may come across people that we’ve tried every way to get away from.
Knowing any kind of helpful self-defense can go two ways. It can either go in your favor, or it can really go not in your favor. Not fighting and being able to escape safely is what I would recommend for everyone when possible.
However, that’s not always possible. If you’re backed into a corner, with nowhere to run, I do not suggest getting kidnapped, abducted, or murdered without a fight. If you know with zero doubt the individual approaching you are purposely going to or attempting to harm you.
Well, there’s only one thing you can really do within this moment. I believe Trace Adkins said it best, “Ya gotta whoop a man’s ass sometimes!” If you’ve not taken a self-defense course or if you lost a lot of fights in school or if at any point in your life you’ve had a bully. Do yourself a favor, take a self-defense course or class.
If you don’t have the time for this, YouTube is a good source for self-learning of how to videos on multiple methods and strategies for self-defense.
If you go the route of entering a self-defense class or course, ask your teacher this simple question. “Can you teach me how to use any articles of clothing or items I may have on my person to defend myself?” I am going to bet there are several items you have on your person that will work great for this.
If you don’t go the actual entering of a class or course route. I would suggest learning some basic striking techniques, along with some countering and blocking techniques. Anything Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) related could be a good starting point for you. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, almost any judo would be good for the basics.
High Percentage Martial Arts did a study on 200 street fights to obtain information based on the statistics of street fights. Of these, the average length of time was 47 seconds for the fight. 20% of all fights in this study lasted longer than a full minute.
My point of telling you this is so that you can be in shape to at least fight for a couple of minutes or so. This is the full study that was made by High Percentage Martial Arts.
A belt with a buckle can both be wrapped around your hand as a protective layer between your knuckles and the assaulting person’s teeth. If you’re a woman and you are wearing high heels, these can be utilized as a dangerous pointy weapon if you catch my drift.
90,000 people become missing at any given time, says USA Today. Of this 90,0000 just over 33,000 are people under the age of 18. Which calculates to about 57,000 of these people being adults.
With this number of people consistently missing, studies show that adults that become missing are of many races, backgrounds, genders and status levels. Many times these missing people are never found for long periods of time.
When they are found, many are found deceased. Some from things like a stroke, heart attack, and other times from inflicted wounds caused while struggling to stop an attacker.
Of these numbers, I can not tell you how many are truck drivers. What I can tell you is that having 1 person missing is 1 too many. Trucking can appear as a very lonely occupation. With this loneliness comes additional unforeseen risks. Don’t allow yourself any additional unneeded risks. The job of being a truck driver provides enough of these safety risks.
How Many Truck Drivers Are In The United States of America?
According to the American Trucking Association the there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA. Of these about 350,000 Owner Operators registered with their own authority. Which leaves 3.15 million being Company Drivers and Lease Operators that do not have their own authority.
How Many Days Are Truckers Away From Home?
Though dependent on the type of trucking the truck driver is a part of. For an Over The Road (OTR) Truck Driver, it is common to be gone for 2 to 4 weeks at a time.
A Regional Truck Driver, typically they tend to be gone from a few days to possibly a full week at a time.
Local Truck Drivers tend to go home every night though few may have overnights outside of their home location.