Summer is not the most pleasant season for being on the road, especially for truck drivers. Summer is right behind the corner so temperatures are going to rise and asphalt is going to heat up. Making a few adjustments is essential for beating the heath and feeling more comfortable.
Why are dry roads riskier?
Even though it is assumed that winter is the most dangerous driving season, the reality is that summer gives truck drivers a false sense of security which is why the majority of fatal driving accidents occur during summertime. On dry roads, drivers take things lightly and make bad driving choices.
Speeding is the number one cause of accidents. Nice weather and dry roads give wind in drivers’ sails to drive faster so it happens more frequently for drivers to be charged with speeding 50 km/h over the limit.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms the fact that Americans drive the most miles during the warm summer months. More drivers out on the road combined with reckless driving inevitably lead to more fatalities.
Other potential causes of accidents are the glare of the sun and fog. The obstructed vision during these conditions causes faster fatigue and a reduction in driver performance. While being blinded by the sunlight, a driver can’t notice the objects ahead.
Further, during the hottest months of the year, people usually feel tired. Lack of water intake very often leads to dehydration which can cause headaches and over the long-term it can get down to serious fatigue. Experiencing all the above limits your ability to react properly in different situations and to drive safely.
How to cope with nerve-wracking driving during summer
Driving through the beautiful scenery during summer can take a sharp turn if you don’t follow some of the most important precaution measures.
The importance of hydration
Proper hydration is extremely important on the road, especially when driving long-haul during the hottest months. On a busy day, it often happens to forget to take enough water. In that case, common effects of dehydration such as nausea, low energy and headache will be present. The lack of important electrolytes that your body loses due to dehydration will not allow you to stay focused while driving. Water is always within easy reach so if you didn’t take it with you, you can always get a bottle of water at any truck stop.
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Always bring your sunglasses to prevent distracting reflections from impairing your visibility. The amount of light entering your eyes can cause constant squinting which can highly affect your attention on the road. Having a pair of polarized sunglasses will prevent exposure to UV rays as well as sun damage to the eyelids which will improve your driving quality.
Protecting your skin with sunscreen can also help you on the road. You can choose between sunburnt or having a high SPF sunblock in your cabin. The first option can be very painful not only for your face but also for your arm, especially the left one. The choice is yours. If you opt for no sunscreen, we’ll probably listen to a story you’ll have to share with us.
As already mentioned, summer is the season with the highest number of vehicles on the roads so you need to offset the dangers brought by heavier traffic. Being able to stop within the distance you can see ahead can literally save lives. The closer you are to a vehicle in front of you, the less time you will have to stop yours. Remember, the fatigue is more present during the summer months so your reflexes might be slower than usual.
Watch out for your tire pressure
Remember the law of physics and the principle called thermal expansion that says “most matter expands when heated and contracts when cooled”? It also applies to tiers. Driving on hot asphalt makes tires hot as well. Having a tire blowout is not a rare situation at all so checking your tire pressure whenever you can is a very good practice.
Don’t be misled by unprofessional suggestions to keep your tires under-inflated. It’s a totally wrong idea because it will decrease the weight your truck can carry.
Maximizing productivity during sunnier skies and longer days mustn’t be to the detriment of safety. The above simple tips do not require a lot of investment or work and can ensure that you arrive home safely. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of summer vacations and traffic jams affect your driving quality and harm anyone.