The general public might think that summer driving is easier. However, according to the Department of Transportation, fatal accidents occur 18 percent more often in summer than in winter.
Each season brings its own share of road challenges. Therefore, we’re sharing some hot-weather safety tips for both drivers and their rigs.
Summer Safety for Drivers
- Drink lots of water to keep you hydrated in hot weather. Keep a thermos or other container of cold water in your cab and refill it as needed.
- Watch out for the sun. Too much exposure can cause skin cancer or other health hazards. Use sunscreen, a sun sleeve or just a long-sleeve shirt. Avoid “Trucker’s arm” with these options, and if you go the sunscreen route, re-apply it often.
- Summer is the busiest driving season, with families driving to vacation spots or employees driving around on their days off. Be extra cautious of cars, vans, motorcycles and even bicycles.
- Summer is prime time for heavy thunderstorms. Within the first half-hour of rain, oils are washed up to the road’s surface and it becomes extra slippery. Be extra cautious of other drivers on wet roads. Consider changing your route if bad weather is in the forecast.
- Be extra cautious in work zones as road work is often done in the summer. Slow down and watch for construction workers and for vehicles racing to beat you to the lane closure.
Summer Safety for Trucks
- Tires should be properly inflated and have good tread to ensure proper traction. The chances of tire blowouts increase with extreme heat, especially if your tires are underinflated.
- Check your brakes. Hot weather can cause brakes to fail when brake components can’t absorb additional heat. If you need to, make a check stop just to examine your brakes.
- Use a sunshield whenever you park. This will help keep your cabin and interior from overheating whenever you take a break.
- Summer is bug season. Carry a glass cleaner and paper towels or a squeegee to keep your windshield clean.
- Check fluid levels – especially the coolant – and the condition of your belts before every major trip.
We hope that all of our carriers will have a safe and productive summer.
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