With the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road, coming across an emergency situation – or being in one yourself – isn’t a question of if, but when. Truckers are often referred to as “Knights of the road” because they are often able to stop and lend a helping hand to those in need. Do you know what you should do if you come across an emergency situation on the road?

Safety first

The most important thing you can do, when coming across an emergency, is to prioritize safety. It’s extremely common for first responders and other helpers to get injured or worse on an emergency scene due to inattentive drivers passing by. Truck drivers are often one of the first on scene because you’re the ones on the road and seeing situations unfold as they happen or shortly after.

If you’ve come across an accident that’s blocking lanes on the highway, stop your truck 50-75 feet back, turn on your flashers and put out flares and reflective triangles. This leaves plenty of room for emergency vehicles and gives other drivers ample warning that there is a situation ahead. If you decide to leave your truck, stay alert and aware of moving traffic. It’s important to always have some kind of escape route in mind in case another vehicle comes towards you.

Call 9-1-1 

As soon as you can safely do so, call 9-1-1 for help. Inform the operator where you are by noting the highway or street, mile marker and/or exit information. Give the operator as much information as you can regarding the situation and injured persons. If you witnessed a crime, try to make note of license plates, descriptions of individuals and what you observed.

If you believe you’ve witnessed an act of human trafficking, call Truckers Against Trafficking at 1-888-373-7888.

Alert your dispatcher

It’s important to keep your dispatcher informed when things come up. Not only is this helpful to your company to know if you might be delayed, but they may have access to additional resources that can help you. Additionally, if your company uses in-cab or dashboard cameras, they may be able to provide videos and photos to law enforcement.

Be prepared

Always carry an emergency and first aid kit with you in your truck. It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. This should include a fire extinguisher, warning triangles, safety vest, flashlight and extra batteries, breaker bar, jumper cables, a warm blanket or sleeping bag, and extra food and water. Your first aid kit should include basic first aid supplies including medical gloves, a variety of bandages, sterile pads, burn treatments, eye wash and a CPR face shield.

Thorough pre- and post-trip truck checks should be standard for every driver, but they’re also imperative to making sure you’re not the one causing the emergency situation. Make sure your truck is in good working condition and that your load is secure.

At Carter Express, our dispatchers are always available to our drivers to ensure they get the support they need. We pride ourselves in our atmosphere of communication, respect and prioritizing our drivers’ safety. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Carter driver, reach out to us today!