Posted & filed under Carrier Connection.

It was a late Monday night in South Carolina when a driver, who has remained anonymous, chose to park his rig in a secluded gas station. Shortly after he had fallen asleep, he was awakened by two armed men demanding money, one with a gun to his chest. Though this driver wasn’t hurt, the thieves made off with his phone, credit card and several hundred dollars.

Tragically, these robberies are on the rise.

Truck stops are wonderful places to rest, recharge and refuel your rig. Though most truck stops are completely safe, the recent rise in cargo theft makes any rest stop suspect for dangerous activity.

Here are a few warning signs of a potentially dangerous truck stop:


  1. The truck stop is an area with a high crime rate.

If you can help it, avoid stopping at heavily populated urban areas or cities notorious for crime. For reference, check out the map below that shows some of the hotspots for cargo theft.

Dangerous Truck Stops

Image courtesy of CargoNet.

For additional information regarding dangerous cities for truckers, click here.


  1. The truck stop lacks proper lighting.

Thieves often depend on dark areas to obscure their identity. When you stop for the night, make sure that you are adequately visible to the public.


  1. The truck stop doesn’t have surveillance.

If a truck stop doesn’t have security cameras, you may consider staying somewhere else for the night. Without this insurance, it will be very difficult to recover stolen items in the case of a theft.


  1. The infrastructure of the truck spot is in bad shape.

Graffiti, vandalism, or neglect are all signs that a truck stop may be a hotbed for dangerous activity. If a truck stop is not salted during the winter, for example, the danger extends beyond thieves—you could slip and injure yourself.


  1. There are suspicious characters at a truck stop.

Pay attention to individuals that seem to be acting out of the ordinary. If someone appears to be wandering aimlessly, concealing their features, or acting erratically, these are tell-tale signs of something suspicious.


It can be difficult to know when a thief will strike; however, you can choose to visit truck stops that have a great reputation for safety to decrease your odds of an incident. Love’s Travel Stops and TA-Petro are both excellent examples.

Ultimately, the very best way to avoid a dangerous truck stop is to practice situational awareness. When pulling in for the night, be aware of your surroundings. Take note of anything out of the ordinary.

A quick scan of your environment could mean a tragedy prevented.

The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers various services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.