Summer driving presents truck drivers with a unique set of challenges. As temperatures soar, drivers must become more cautious about how they take care of their vehicles and their health.
To help you stay safe and secure on the road, we’ll cover the summer driving – safety tips for truck drivers.
Tips for drivers
Prolonged exposure to intense heat and sunlight can be dangerous for truck drivers. Heat stroke and dehydration are real threats that you have to address. The summer heat can also exacerbate other issues that drivers commonly face.
1. Stay hydrated
Hydration should be one of your top priorities when dealing with high-temperature environments. Water is your best friend during those long summer drives, and you must bring at least 4-5 litres worth before every drive.
Both dry and humid environments can cause your body to consume a lot of water, leaving you dehydrated. Compensate for this by upping your water intake while driving. Make sure you also add some electrolytes through food and beverages, as water alone isn’t enough.
2. Have adequate sleep
One of the most challenging things about being a truck driver is maintaining a proper sleep schedule during long trips. The summer heat can leave you sleepy at random points in the day. But it can also make it harder to fall asleep at night.
If possible, try to get a full night’s sleep every evening. If you rely on power naps between driving sessions, look for shaded and cool areas to minimise disruptions.
3. Make rest brakes
Operating a large vehicle, such as a truck, requires focus. Along with adequate sleep, you must take breaks when you feel exhausted from driving long distances. As driving schedules are often tight, it can be difficult to squeeze in rest periods. Many truck drivers stay focused by taking power naps when there’s a good place to stop.
4. Wear sunglasses
While the summer sun beats gloomy winter days and nights, sunlight can be a safety hazard on the road. Not only does direct sunlight irritate your eyes, but it can also cause eye fatigue given enough time.
It isn’t just direct sunlight that can pose issues, either. Reflections from puddles, buildings, and other vehicles can distract you momentarily. It’s recommended that you wear polarised sunglasses with solid UV protection to mitigate sunlight.
5. Use sunscreen
Even if you spend most of your time in the truck, you aren’t immune from ultraviolet radiation. Drivers are exposed to UVB and UVC rays through windows and windshields, and these rays can cause harm in the long term.
Make sure to apply sunscreen on exposed areas of your body if you’re driving during the day.
6. Dress properly
Trucks tend to get hot in the scorching summer heat, and your choice of clothing can mean the difference between being comfortable and getting heat stroke. To drive safely in the heat, wear appropriate summer clothing that will allow your skin to breathe and sweat.
A lightly coloured shirt and comfortable cargo shorts are recommended.
Tips regarding your vehicle
The summer heat can take a toll on your vehicle, especially if you spend hours driving in hot weather. Ensuring that your truck is in optimal shape is essential for efficient cargo transport as well as your safety.
1. Inspect the tires and check their pressure
Soaring road surface temperatures can accelerate tire wear, making them susceptible to premature deterioration. As if that weren’t enough, the summer heat leads to overinflation of tires, potentially causing tire blowouts when least expected. Increased air temperature can result in higher tire pressure, increasing the risk of blowouts.
Make sure to check tire pressure before you start any long journey. Check the recommended tire pressure for your truck and monitor tire pressure every other week.
2. Test the cooling systems
Ensuring the efficiency of your truck’s cooling system is critical during the summer season. The engine coolant helps maintain the engine’s temperature and keeps it from rusting and corroding. You should always check its levels before hitting the road.
Remember to check the radiator cap as well. If it’s misplaced or damaged, the coolant might leak out or work less efficiently.
3. Ensure proper visibility
Visibility while driving is important during any season—Even summer. With longer daylight hours and intense glare from the sun, it becomes essential to take proactive measures to ensure clear visibility on the road. Equipping your truck with sunshades can help mitigate sun glare, reducing eye strain.
Regularly inspect and clean your truck’s windows, mirrors, and headlights to enhance your ability to spot potential hazards on the road. Don’t forget to replace worn-out wiper blades to guarantee a streak-free windshield during summer downpours.
Tips regarding the road
Once you’ve prepared your truck and all essential accessories, you’ll need to start thinking about road conditions and how they can affect your trip. These include other drivers, the state of the road, and zones that may disrupt your trip.
1. Be aware of tourist drivers
Most people go on vacation during the summer. This means you’ll encounter many drivers who may not be used to driving long distances in other countries. They may linger in blind spots or drive a bit too closely.
Extra caution should be taken when you see foreign license plates in traffic—Don’t assume that every driver is as skilled as you are.
2. Follow news on road conditions
Road conditions can change dramatically and suddenly during the summer. One moment it might be scorching hot, while in another, you might be in the middle of a downpour. You should follow weather reports closely, as they will help you determine the most optimal routes and times to drive.
3. Inform yourself about construction zones
Construction zones can affect your planned route significantly. If parts of a road are closed off due to construction work, you will have to take alternative routes. Get acquainted with apps that notify users about local construction work.
If you’re going from country to country, you may want to use multiple apps to stay updated on potential roadblocks.
Stay cool and safe
Follow the summer driving – safety tips for truck drivers we’ve covered to navigate the challenges of summer driving confidently. They’ll ensure your well-being and help you transport cargo without any hiccups on the road.
While taking a break from the heat, take advantage of KleverCargo to find the next freight for your truck. Our app is available on all devices, so you can look for cargo on your phone without breaking a sweat. Register on our platform to avoid empty runs. Once you register, you can get in contact with shippers immediately—Check out our tutorial to see how simple the process is.