Don’t Let the Dog Days Get You Down
The slush, ice, and snow of the winter season is over, but that doesn’t mean road conditions are any safer during the scorching summer months. Whether you’re a first time driver or a seasoned truck driver, the dog days of summer are no joke, so it is still important to remain cautious to keep yourself safe on the job. Your safety and well-being is our number one priority, which is why we’ve compiled a list of safety tips and tricks to help you stay cool during the upcoming summer hauls. Here are some ways that you can stay cool during the blistering days of summer:
Summer Safety Tips
Be Aware of Crowded Roads
As the weather warms up and schools let out, the lanes on the open road gets a little more crowded as families set out on vacation. Heavy traffic volumes can be dangerous for truck drivers, so you’ll want to remain extra alert during this time of the year.
This may also mean you need to take into consideration any potential unforeseen traffic back-ups, so prepare to start your trips an hour or so earlier and alert your supervisor of any changes to your scheduled ETA.
Check the Forecast
Although you don’t have to worry about ice or snow, summer weather conditions can carry just as many implications as the winter months. Summer storms can be extremely harsh conditions to drive through. Summer brings severe thunderstorms and tornadoes throughout a majority of the country. Roads can get slick or even flood, and visibility can drop down to zero in the thick of a storm with winds gusting at incredible rates. Before you begin your day, watch the weather report so you know what’s coming and can have a contingency plan set up if needed.
As responsible truck drivers, you should be checking your brakes and tires regularly, no matter the weather forecast. However, in the summer it is extra important to properly maintain your rig because the summer heat can affect certain aspects if not properly maintained. As temperatures rise, the chance of tire blowouts increases. Under-inflated tires can further increase these chances, so it’s important to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Like tire blowouts, brakes can also experience a loss of friction due to high temperatures which can lead to slower break times and cause crashes. For this reason, it is extremely important for you and the other drivers’ on the road to check your brakes before heading out each day.
During long days it can be easy to forget something as simple as drinking water, but on a hot summer’s day in the bed of a truck it’s detrimental to stay hydrated. In the hottest months of the year, dehydration is very common. Some of the effects of dehydration include nausea, low energy, mental cloudiness, headaches, and dry mouth. Be on the lookout if you start to notice any of these symptoms, so that you can prevent it. You may also want to keep a small cooler of water stocked in your truck with you as a reminder to drink throughout the day and make it practical to stay hydrated without having to stop your route as often.
Protect Your Skin
Whether you are a short haul driver who spends days in and out of your truck or a long haul driver spending hours a day on the road, during the summer you will often be exposed to the sun. It’s important to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen. Truckers are often prone to “trucker’s arm” while driving. Letting your arm, typically your left, burn while driving for days is no better than roasting in the sun while loading and unloading without sunscreen.
Not only are sunburns extremely painful to deal with, especially while driving, the Skin Cancer Foundation states that it only takes 5 or more sunburns to double your risk of melanoma. It’s better to protect your skin and wear sunscreen now then letting yourself burn and developing more serious issues further down the line.
Summer days can be grueling. Long hours on the road on top of constantly loading and unloading shipments only add to the toll these days can have. It’s important to take the time to give your body the rest and time it needs to function, even if that means taking an extra hour to finish an unload or starting your day a little late. Your health and well-being should be your main priority.
Have You Been Injured on the Job? Get the Benefits You Deserve.
As you’re aware, the summer months can be extremely hazardous for truckers. It’s important to maintain proper care of yourself and your vehicle during these months, but even if you do take precautions, accidents still happen.
If you are a trucker who’s been injured on the job, it is important to assert your rights and claim the workers’ compensation or personal injury benefits you are rightfully owed. If you encounter any difficulty in doing so – or if your benefits are cut off before you have recovered – it is advisable to consult with an experienced trucker attorney who can take action on your behalf. The lawyers of Hurt Trucker will fight to make your claim heard and work diligently to get you the benefits you deserve. Call toll free at 855-4-HURT-TRUCKER (855-448-7887) today for a free consultation.