As the weather is heating up, now is a great time to review some safe truck driving practices. In order to remain safe while out on the road during the summer months, you need to be mindful of all dangerous weather conditions. Consider the following safety tips for driving in severe heat!
Monitor Weather Forecasts
When most people think of severe weather conditions, they tend to only think of the precipitation that occurs during winter months. It is important to realize that the summer season presents its own set of dangers that are brought on with extreme heat. According to The U.S. Natural Hazard Statistics, there were a total of 107 deaths from heat in 2017. When there are high temperatures, there is also going to be tornadoes, thunderstorms, dry spells, lighting, and dry spells. It is in the best interest of drivers to closely monitor the upcoming forecasts to stay in tune with any upcoming weathers threats.
Don’t Sit In A Parked Truck
Many truck drivers are guilty of sitting in their parked cars on hot days. Many truckers like to take their lunch break while sitting in their parked truck. It is crucial that drivers realize that the interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle will quickly escalate on warm days. If you need to remain in your parked vehicle for any period of time, it is necessary to use the air conditioning to maintain the temperature. It is amazing how quickly a truck can reach dangerous temperatures during the summer months.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
If you are going to have to travel for extended periods of time, you want to be sure to wear sunscreen. This is especially the case on warm days when you are driving with the windows down. If you are mindful of the sun, burns are easily avoidable while out on the road. It is also wise to always keep a pair of sunglasses and a hat on your possession. There are also many truck drivers who wear long sleeves to protect themselves from the dreaded “truckers arm.”
When you are out on the road, it is easy to become dehydrated. This is especially the case during the summer months when there is severe heat. A truck driver should always make drinking water a priority while driving. It is always a good idea to have a bottle by your side when you are on a trip. Also, it is important to hydrate before taking off for a route to help avoid getting headaches and dizziness during a drive.
Check Your Vehicle’s Fluids
If you want to save yourself a lot of headaches during the summer months, you want to be sure to check your vehicle’s fluids. This includes windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, motor oil, and coolant.
Check Your Brakes
Did you know that when the weather becomes overly hot, vehicle breaks can fade? When you press down on your break, heat is applied to your brake fluid. During the summer months, breaks are not always given enough time to properly cool which can bring to the brake fluid to a boiling point. You want to be sure that you are checking your breaks frequently if you are traveling in hot weather. Also, be sure to monitor your brake pads to ensure they remain good condition.
Check Your Tires
It is always a good idea to closely monitor your tire pressure during the summer months. This should always be apart of your routine pre-trip inspections before you take off on a driving assignment. Warmer temperature often lead tires to wear out at a quicker rate. This means trucks tend to be more susceptible to flat tires due to air loss during the summer season. To avoid running into any issues, ensure that you are always at the appropriate air pressure in your tires.
Keep An Emergency Kit
Every truck should have an emergency kit for the summer months in case of breakdowns. It should be stored away someplace accessible and should include items such as a first aid kit, water, road flares, a flashlight, and jumper cables.
Expect Longer Routes
Although this is not necessarily a safety tip, as a general rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to expect longer trips during the summer months. This is because children are out of school and people are traveling for vacations. Drivers should try to allow more time for trips because there tend to be more people on the road. This is especially the case during the weekends when people are making there way to beaches, amusement parks, etc.
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