Summer is just around the corner, as Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the warm-weather season. However, if you are a truck driver, the summer season means a whole new set of issues to be aware of and safety measures to take. Follow these tips for summer driving safety.
- Use Protection Against the Sun – Just because you are in a truck does not mean you are protected from the sun. While the rays of sun shining through the driver’s side window can feel great, there are serious risks associated with this, including sunburns and odd tan lines. The left side of your body takes the biggest toll from the sun. Even when you are inside your cabin, wear sunscreen. Hats, sunglasses, and long sleeve shirts can also help protect you.
- Stay Hydrated – Even though you are in an air conditioned truck you can still get dehydrated. Make sure to have a bottle of water to stay hydrated and an extra bottle of water available in case something happens. Aim to drink about eight glasses of water every day.
- Watch Out for Extra Drivers – In the summer months, there are more people on the road than any other season. This Memorial Day Weekend, more than 33 million Americans are expected to hit the road. These drivers will be on roads they are unfamiliar with, which can oftentimes lead to erratic and dangerous driving. And for truck drivers, this means the roads are that much less safe. To lessen your chance of an accident, stay alert on the road and be aware of what’s happening all times.
- Use Caution in Work Zones – More roadwork is done in the summer months than during any other time. It’s always important to be careful in a work zone because of the danger of potentially hitting a worker. In addition, fines for speeding and other violations are often doubled or tripled in a work zone.
- Keep Tires Properly Inflated – Tire blowouts aren’t uncommon in the extreme heat. Under-inflated tires can increase the risk of having a blowout. Be sure that tires are properly inflated before heading out on a delivery run.
- Check the Brakes – Summer’s hot temperatures can lead to brake fading or the loss of friction when brake components can’t absorb any additional heat. Always check the brakes to make sure they are functioning properly.
- Be Aware of the Weather – Summer can bring severe weather, such as storms and floods. In addition, the weather can change very quickly. Make sure to be aware of the weather up ahead and what could be coming to the area. This way you are never caught off guard, and can change your route if needed.