Whether you’re taking advantage of the growing need for self-employed drivers as a full-time occupation or you’re making the best out of a side hustle to finance your business, it’s important to take the risks on the road seriously. There are dangers inherent to driving and, as a freelancer working for yourself, you do not have the financial and legal backing of an employer in most cases.
For that reason, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the dangers you might face, not to scare you out of making that money, but rather to help you be prepared and to highlight the steps you can take to mitigate some of those dangers.
Awareness and visibility are crucial
It’s important to make sure that you are always aware of your surroundings as best as possible, both when you are on and off the road. Delivery drivers are occasionally targets of crime such as theft, so you want to make sure that you pay attention to make sure you’re not being followed by other vehicles, which is easier with the help of rear-view cameras for your vehicle. Similarly, if you’re approaching any poorly lit spots during evening deliveries, it’s wise to use your headlights to make sure the path to the door is visible and clear, or even to wear a lit helmet to stay extra vigilant.
Lock it up
It’s not just about your personal safety, it’s about the security of your vehicle and goods, too. After all, if your vehicle was to get stolen while you were making a delivery, that would put you in a very unsafe situation as well. Whatever your mode of transport, make sure that it is never left unattended. Furthermore, lock it up before you take a step away from it, making sure that all potential entry points are locked up so that no one but you (with your key) can enter.
Be more vigilant with your maintenance
Your vehicle may be no different from any other vehicle than any other would drive in daily life but there is one factor that can make it a little more unsafe: how much you drive it. People who drive professionally are also more likely to drive more often than those who don’t, simply given the nature of their job. As such, taking it to the garage more routinely for preventative maintenance is essential as wear and tear will accumulate more quickly, meaning that you can be in for some expensive repairs or, worse yet, a malfunction on the road if you aren’t more vigilant.
Have a plan for emergencies
You don’t want to get into an accident, of course, but you have to see the likelihood of getting into one, or of breaking down, becomes higher if you spend more of your time driving. Aside from preventing it as best as you can, you should also have a plan to deal with any emergencies as they come. Having an emergency kit in your vehicle, having the contact details of legal help like local motorcycle accident attorneys, and having a camera on your vehicle so you can record any evidence you need are all good places to start. Since you’re liable for your own driving, you need to make sure you’re legally protected.
Prepare for the road ahead
Adverse road conditions can hit and, if you’re not ready for them, they can increase the likelihood of getting into an incident more and more. Some professional drivers avoid driving in the evenings altogether because the long hours mixed with lower visibility can pose too much of a risk. Similarly, you should check road conditions ahead of you before every trip.
Keep learning about safe driving
You might be a seasoned driver and think that you have pretty great judgment on the road. However, you shouldn’t take chances based on that alone. You should look into investing in some defensive driving for motorcyclists or similar training for the vehicle you’re driving. It’s also a good idea to refresh yourself on road safety when you have the opportunity, and you might even learn some new techniques for staying more alert and aware of your environment in the process. Since you’re driving professionally, you should put more time into doing it right than the average motorist.
The risks that you run into on the road or on your deliveries are going to require you to be smart, to be intuitive but, most of all, to be prepared. Your safety comes first so invest in it.