Proceed with Caution – Protests Ahead
Trucker’s New Reality
Among tragedy and outraged citizens, we again find ourselves in a dangerous and impossible position. Across the nation, streets are lined with broken windows, vehicles ablaze, and the tear-streamed faces of those affected by recent political and legal events.
We have seen businesses destroyed, citizens injured or killed in the streets, and protesters being forcefully subdued. And yet, it continues.
As a trucking industry professional, my immediate concern is focused on truck drivers. I have seen too many viral videos of protestors climbing on top of a tractor-trailer, in a futile attempt to stop an 80,000 lb. machine with their bare hands. I have seen images of demonstrators crawling into a moving, loaded trailer to pilfer the products and goods within.
In St. Louis, a situation turned fatal for one such participant. A man attempting to loot a truck pulling doubles became lodged between the two trailers. As the truck driver began to escape the violent scene, he unknowingly dragged the man several blocks. The family of the victim blamed the driver and his employer for the loss of life.
The driver of the truck may have never been faced with such a dilemma. At that moment, with demonstrators banging on his trailer and brandishing weapons, he made the decision to retreat to safety. I cannot be certain what was going through his mind at the time. I am sure he was thinking about getting to a safe haven as quickly as possible, rather than what company policy states. That does not, however, eliminate the risk of future litigation his company may face.
What is your company policy on proper procedures for truck drivers when faced with potentially violent protests? Have you communicated any updates or expectations with your fleet?
As for safety professionals, planning for these dangerous scenarios have become an unimaginable reality. We tout proactivity in the trucking industry as a pseudo-mantra, “Be proactive, not reactive.” If the driver involved in this tragic accident had not been prepared for this type of scenario, his only option was his own gut-reaction.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive.
If you have put emergency procedures in place for your drivers, ensure you are communicating to your entire fleet. In most cases, you may write up a message and send it over to the truck, hoping it does not get lost in the jumble of dispatch messages and weather alerts.
Infiniti can create a custom message in written or video format and instantly deploy it to your entire fleet. Your drivers will be notified they have a new assignment. You will receive documentation when they review the updated procedures.
Above all else, drive safe out there!
Ensure you have a clear and concise plan of action that your fleet and operations can execute should they run into one of these demonstrations:
- – Do your dispatchers know how to advise their drivers?
- – Are there any curfews along their route?
- – Do you have a plan for customers if freight is delayed or damaged?
- – Have your drivers included searching for protests in their trip plan?
- – Should your drivers abandon their truck if they feel endangered?
- – What should your driver do in the event of an injury?
- – What should your driver do if his equipment is damaged by protesters?
Infiniti Workforce Solutions reminds all professional drivers that your safety is our number one concern. We are doing everything in our power to minimize further injuries and damage. We want to bring safety to the forefront of your truck driving experience.
To help with our mission, we are offering trucking companies a 30-Day Complimentary Trial. We are here to ensure the secure movement of your freight and the safety of your entire fleet.
Learn more about increasing your communication capacity here.