There are tons of resources and articles on how to safely drive your rig during the winter months, but what about the summer? While there may be less hazardous driving conditions during the summer, it is still important to keep yourself cool and stay focused on the road. Here are 5 tips to drive safe and beat the heat while you’re driving during the hot summer months.
1. Protect Yourself From the Sun
We all know how good the sun shining through the driver side window can feel, but too much of it can be dangerous. Don’t let yourself get sunburned on your left arm also known as “Trucker’s Arm” or “Driver’s Tan.” Not only does a nasty sunburn hurt but it can make it harder to sleep, and we all know how important it is for driver’s to get the proper amount of sleep. More importantly, sunburn can lead to dangerous health risks such as skin cancer. Protect yourself by using sunscreen, a sun sleeve, window cover, or wearing a light long sleeved shirt.
2. Stay Hydrated
As the temperature rises you need to increase your water intake. Remember, you should always have water handy. This includes spare bottles in the case of a breakdown. You don’t want to be stranded working out an issue in the hot summer sun with no water. It’s a good idea to drink half your weight in ounces of water during the day. So if you weigh 160 pounds you should be drinking 80 ounces of water throughout the day. While this may increase the amount of bathroom stops you take, it is a small price to pay in order to ward off heat stroke.
3. Watch Out for Vacationers
The summer months may see increased travel traffic as families travel for vacation. Remember to be wary of this. You should always be alert when driving but this is especially important during the summer months. Additionally, remember to watch out for motorcycles as they are seen much more frequently in the summer.
4. Be Aware of the Weather
While the summer months might not see snow or ice on the roads, the one weather event to look out for is strong storms. High winds and heavy rain can make the roads especially hazardous for truckers. You don’t want to be caught off guard in a thunderstorm; always be aware of the weather that is ahead of you. If you can, change routes to avoid inclement weather.
5. Check Your Truck
Compared to cooler temperatures, the summer months hot climate can put your truck in certain risks. Hot temperatures can affect your brakes and lead to brake fade. This occurs when the brake pad and brake rotor no longer generate enough mutual friction due to being overheated. You’ll notice it’s harder to brake or may lose braking functions completely. Make sure you check the brakes when you are stopped to ensure they are working correctly. Other problems that can arise during the heat of the summer months are tire blowouts. Under-inflated tires will increase blowout risks so be sure to check that your tires are properly inflated before setting out on the open road.
Keep these tips in mind during the summer months to beat the heat and drive safe in the hot weather, and remember, United Truck Driving School has a wealth of other helpful blogs to help out truck drivers.