Summer Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
August 2, 2023
Warm summer temperatures can take a toll on vehicles, increasing the likelihood of breakdowns. Specifically, high temperatures can overheat engines, and hotter road surfaces may result in tire blowouts. Furthermore, fluctuating weather conditions, increased traffic, and sun exposure only add to the hazards that commercial truck drivers may face during the summer months. As such, truck drivers must act with caution and consider preparedness steps to keep themselves and others safe on the road. As part of risk-mitigation endeavours, share these summer safety tips with drivers:
- Conduct vehicle maintenance. Before setting off, drivers should conduct pre-trip inspections. Among other checks, drivers should ensure the cab’s air conditioning is working as expected, that tires aren’t over- or underinflated and that all fluids (including coolant and oil) are at recommended levels. Not only does adequate maintenance help prevent breakdowns, it can also support optimal performance and reduce fuel consumption.
- Stay safe in the sun. As ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the windshield, drivers can still get sunburnt from the confines of their cab. This reinforces the importance of sun safety. Encourage drivers to minimize UV exposure by wearing long sleeves and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Additionally, drivers should wear sunglasses to protect themselves from the perils of sun glare.
- Plan ahead. As summer weather can be unpredictable, drivers should leverage data-driven websites and apps to check the forecast before planning journeys. When severe weather is expected, drivers should consider alternative routes or abandon trips altogether—safety always takes precedence. Additionally, drivers should plan journeys to avoid construction zones where possible. While in transit, drivers may benefit from staying informed about traffic incidents and road closures via radio updates or GPS systems.
- Remain patient. High traffic levels can occur in summer as vacationers and other recreational drivers increase the numbers on the road. Worse still, vacationers crossing provinces may be unfamiliar with local driving routes and laws, so drivers should anticipate sudden swerving or quick braking. Remind drivers to follow at a safe distance and frequently share defensive driving techniques to help prevent accidents.
- Take breaks. Hot weather isn’t just tough on vehicles. Drivers can also suffer from its effects, so they should take regular breaks to rest and hydrate. Additionally, consider sharing the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion with staff so they know what to look for.
If you have questions specific to your business, or would like additional information, please reach out to your Ing & McKee Insurance Advisor.