Maybe the summertime is not the best season for being on the road, but it’s one of the most beautiful ones. Summer trucking can be challenging. But taking time to practice summer safety tips while you’re hitting the road will significantly reduce the potential of road accidents and health problems.
Here are some summer driving tips for truck drivers from the Extra Mile International INC crew to stay safe during the hottest days of the year.
1. Stay hydrated
On busy days, it can be easy to forget something simple like drinking enough water. We all know how important it is to drink enough water, right? We should drink at least 2l a day. Summer humidity can soak the water right out of you. High heat and humidity increase perspiration. Make sure to have at least two bottles of water in case you are more thirsty than usual. Drinking some water will help you think more clearly and stay hydrated during the day.
2. Use Sunscreen
Even when you are inside your truck, you should use sunscreen. Sunlight is coming through the window and it can be dangerous even on days without direct sun. The hot concrete and asphalt under the truck will heat the cabin. So, there are serious risks associated with this, for example, sunburns and odd tan lines. A high SPF sun cream will be the best solution, so don’t forget to take it with you.
3. Protect Your Eyes
As we mentioned before, it can never be too careful when it comes to keeping truck drivers safe on the road, so one of the things you should think of investing in is to get the proper eyes protection. You should wear some good glasses in order not to hurt your eyes, even when it’s cloudy. Direct sunlight can cause your eyes to become quickly irritated. Also, this actually increases the potential of becoming sleepy as well. Watching the road all the time must be exhausting, so make sure your eyes are protected. Using polarized sunglasses with high UV protection is recommended for driving during the day.
4. Take Breaks
When driving, it’s essential to take regular breaks and to take a rest. That’s how you will prevent accidents due to fatigue. Sometimes, just walking for around 5 minutes will be enough to keep you alert. As we mentioned before, you should plan your breaks and toilet breaks in advance. If you have more truck rest stops to complete, it will be easier for you to take a break.
5. Prepare for More Traffic on the Road
In the summertime, people are more active and everyone is going on annual vacation trips, so it will affect the congestion on the road. It’s good to be prepared to deal with more traffic on the road and to potentially find another route. Don’t get nervous when you face so much traffic because you cannot change it.
6. Road Closures and Construction Updates
In the summer months, more roadwork is done. It can make you come late to your destination. Of course, you should be careful because of the road workers. But remember to also drive slower because in this zone fines for speeding are often doubled or even tripled. Be patient and look for these road updates in advance.
7. Inspect your Tires and Brakes
During summer, your truck’s components might suffer mechanical issues. Tire blowouts are common in extreme heat and summer’s hot temperatures can lead to brake fading. Make sure you have appropriate tires and your brakes work well before every trip.
8. Watch Out for the Extreme Weather
Summer is the season of extreme weather. If you’re not prepared, weather conditions can be really dangerous. Extreme heat, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes are just some of the types of weather that can ruin your travel plans while summer trucking. The thing you should do is to check weather reports regularly, plan your trip properly, and be prepared for potential delays.
These are some summer trucking tips for every trucker. As a bonus tip – it’s always easier to organize your trip according to your needs if you are your own boss. And the best path to financial independence in trucking is through becoming an owner-operator.
Thank you for reading and if you have some suggestions, write us in the comments, send us a message or join our trucking group on Facebook!
From all of us at Extra Mile: Stay safe during the summer trucking!