Resources for women in trucking
Posted: June 18, 2019
Being a woman in trucking definitely has its challenges. This career is hard enough, but it’s also important that you’re equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to do your job well, to stay safe, and to get the support you need for a long and successful career. Big G makes safety a priority across the board – not only behind the wheel, but also by encouraging the women on the Big G team (and throughout the industry) to have the resources and skills to protect themselves wherever they are.
We’ve put together a list of some great resources for women in the trucking industry to help you along the way:
Part of staying safe on the road is finding legal and safe parking at night. According to a survey done by the Federal Highway Administration, more than 75 percent of truck drivers report having issues finding parking and 90 percent have trouble finding available safe parking. (https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/infrastructure/truck_parking/jasons_law/truckparkingsurvey/index.htm) There’s currently a shortage of truck parking, so it can often be difficult to find a spot to park unless you have a little extra help. Thankfully, there are several parking apps that can help you find - and sometimes even reserve ahead of time - a safe parking spot. We recommend using Park My Truck app (https://www.natso.com/parkmytruck) or Trucker Path (https://truckerpath.com/trucker-path-app/truck-parking-near-me/) for finding safe parking along your routes. Another app, TruckPark is newer, but is growing its number of parking facilities. (https://truckpark.com)
Many people opt to take a self-defense program to learn how to defend themselves in a any situation. Most of these courses allow you to learn basic self-defense skills in a short amount of time. You can easily search online for self-defense courses offered locally to you. There are also a couple of organizations that offer courses nationwide. Rape Aggressions Defense (R.A.D.) Systems, for instance, teaches courses around the country and includes a lifetime return and practice policy. (http://www.rad-systems.com)
Some drivers carry tasers and pepper spray as a safety measure. It’s important that you always check with your carrier to see what you’re able to have with you when you’re on the road as well as follow the laws as you travel from state to state. (https://www.gunstocarry.com/gun-laws-state/) Non-lethal items that you can use to protect yourself and that are always allowed include things like hammers, wasp spray, heavy-duty flashlights and personal alarms. (https://www.amazon.com/Personal-Emergency-Self-Defense-Security-Keychain/dp/B076FVX6S1)
Hotline numbers to remember
Need to report something you’ve experienced or observed out on the road? There are hotlines available for reporting concerning activity, sexual assault, and for mental health support. Keep these numbers somewhere you can access them whenever you need.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center - 888-373-7888
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) -800-656-4673
FMCSA safety violation report hotline - 888-368-7238
CRST Ethics Point 24/7 hotline - 866-207-9076
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255 or text to 741-741
Reliable cell phone coverage
Having a way to contact someone in an emergency is important for all truck drivers. As a woman driver, it’s especially important to be able to connect with someone who can help if you are in danger or feel unsafe. It’s helpful to carry a cell phone with you at all times, whether you’re in your truck or if you’ve stopped somewhere to take a break. Cell phone coverage can vary by carrier and location, so we recommend that you research where your routes typically take you and what cell phone carriers provide coverage in most of those areas. This article is a great resource with access to several difference cell phone network coverage maps to help you choose the right network. (https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/Coverage)
Women In Trucking
Women In Trucking (WIT) is a non-profit organization committed to encouraging women in the trucking industry and empowering them to have successful careers. This organization provides scholarships to women attending driving schools or training facilities, advocates for improved working conditions, and works to increase the number of women drivers and women in leadership positions in the industry. (https://www.womenintrucking.org)
If you’re a female truck driver and have found something helpful to you in your career that’s not on this list, please reach out and let us know! Big G’s focus on helping women succeed includes keeping them safe every day.