Safe trucking is essential during every season, and to be fully prepared it’s important to know what to expect at different times of the year. Summer driving is easier than winter driving in most parts of the country.
However, there are unique considerations to keep in mind. The following tips can help you drive safely and beat the heat during the summer months.
Drinking enough water is beneficial year-round and can have a significant positive impact on your health. During the summer, it is especially important to stay hydrated since your body loses water more quickly when it’s hot. Always keep water in your truck and take sips regularly throughout the day.
When you’re outdoors, you may remember sunscreen more easily since you can feel the heat of the sun. However, ultraviolet (UV) rays come through your truck’s windshield all day while you are driving. Even if you don’t get hot thanks to your air conditioning, you can still end up with a sunburn.
Apply sunscreen to any skin that will be exposed while you’re driving. Wear long sleeves to minimize your UV exposure, and sunglasses to protect your eyes and help you see clearly.
Check Your Truck Carefully
You should be completing a pre-trip inspection before you start driving each day, no matter what season it is.
During summer, you should be extra aware of the following:
Tire blowouts are more common when temperatures are high, so make sure your tires are properly filled.
Make sure to check your coolant levels. Hot engines and summer heat can make for a nasty combination.
Check your brakes. High temperatures can cause of a loss of friction between parts of your braking system.
Expect More Traffic
During the summer, families with children on break may hit the road for a vacation. When possible, try to plan your route to avoid major tourist spots. However, you should expect more traffic overall, whether you are in these locations or not. Additionally, some families may rent recreational vehicles (RVs) or trailers, and if they are not used to driving these, it can create a safety risk. Give these types of vehicles a bit more space, and always drive defensively.
Plan for Adverse Weather
Many truckers associate winter with bad weather and assume summer isn’t as bad by comparison. While you won’t need to worry about snowstorms, there are still many adverse weather events that are common to summertime.
There is an increased chance of hazardous weather:
- Dust storms
- Monsoon rainstorms and microbursts
Check the weather in any locations you’re driving through. If you have doubts about your ability to drive safely, wait it out. It’s better to be slightly delayed than to create safety hazards for yourself and other drivers.
Drive a Modern Semi-Truck
At DSW, 90% of our semi-trucks are under 4 years old and our fleet has modern equipment to help you stay comfortable every month of the year. We work hard to ensure our drivers get miles, get paid, and get home regularly.