Post Date - Jun 29, 2020
The sun is out, the temps are up and summer is officially in full swing. While icy roads are no longer a concern, there are several things that truck drivers need to be aware of through the summer months. These are a few of our favorite summer safety tips for truck drivers:
Know the forecast. We all know that wintertime has some significant weather challenges, but summer has its fair share as well. Make sure you know what the weather looks like along your route. It’s important to know if you’re heading into an area that’s expecting a severe thunderstorm or is at risk for a tornado or flooding. Have a backup plan, if needed.
Be aware of extra travelers on the road. Summertime typically includes heavier traffic due to people traveling for vacation. Although this year is certainly different than most, we’ll likely see people starting to travel again as places reopen around the country. It’s also possible that more people will opt to travel by car instead of by plane. Plan extra time for traffic delays and continue to be aware of the drivers around you.
Plan for construction zones. Getting stuck in a construction zone can definitely cause a major headache. Check the DOT website for each state along your route to see where you might run into a construction zone. This will allow you to budget additional time or come up with an alternate route. If traveling through a construction zone, watch for reduced speed limits and construction equipment on roadways.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of those things that can sometimes sneak up on you without you realizing it, especially if you’re spending a lot of time out in the sun. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to help you stay healthy and focused.
Protect yourself from the sun. Whether you spend all your time driving or securing loads in the hot sun, protecting your skin is important. Even the sun shining through your windows can cause skin damage. Wear sunscreen on your arms and face for protection from the sun. It’s also important to wear sunglass. Direct sunlight when the sun is lower in the sky can reduce visibility while reflections from other vehicles or off the road can irritate your eyes.
Don’t skimp on your pre-trip inspection. Pre-trip inspections are important at all times, but during the summer you’ll want to pay particular attention to components that can be exasperated in extreme heat. For instance, tire blowouts are more common during the summer, so it’s important to check your tire pressure frequently. High heat can also affect your engine and breaks. Don’t forget to ensure your A/C is working properly too.
These summer safety tips are a great start to helping you have a safe and successful season as a truck driver. Make sure to take your time, communicate with your dispatcher and ask for help when you need it. Need more tips to staying safe on the road this summer? Reach out to us here at USA Truck and let us help you!