The ending months of summer are some of the busiest and most beneficial times for truck drivers. The weather is gracious, with no threats of snow storms or freezing nights, presenting many benefits for anyone hitting the road. But, summer can issue its fair share of challenges, and we would like to take the time to pass down some tips on staying safe during while on the road.
Hot weather leads to the body turning on its natural cooling system. Drivers often begin to sweat during long hauls meaning that water is being drained from body. When sweating the body exerts a large amount of energy, which can cause loss of focus and foggy thinking. Some common symptoms of dehydration are dry mouth, headache, dry skin, and dizziness. To combat these threats look to always have water nearby in your cab or consumer liquids with high amounts of electrolytes. Also, eating vegetables and fruits can sustain energy and heighten focus throughout the duration of any trip.
Get Ample Rest:
Rest is perhaps the most important and beneficial aspect for drivers. Never push yourselves to the limit of fatigue or drowsiness. Sleeping at least 8 hours per night is what is recommended by the American medical community, but if that is not enough taking small 20 minute naps throughout your trip can greatly improve awareness and energy.
Adjust Your Posture:
Make conscious adjustments to always be sitting up straight. Slouching can make you drowsy, and put you in danger of sitting too far away from the steering wheel and pedals. Your legs should be bent so you can exert strong pressure on the brake pedal, and your elbows need to be slightly bent so that you can use all your strength to turn the wheel if necessary.
Just because you are behind the glass of your windshield does not mean you are safe from the sun. UV rays can penetrate the windows and burn the skin after prolonged exposure. Wear sunscreen on the arms, face, and anywhere else that is exposed. If you can stand the heat, wearing long sleeves is even more protective and doesn’t run the risk of toxic sunscreen chemicals entering your pores.
Eyes Pointed on the Horizon:
Always be looking as far down the road as possible to see any potential upcoming dangers. In dense traffic, you need to look at least ten cars ahead. In faster-flowing traffic, reduce that length to five. Your ride will often be the biggest vehicle on the road, so being able to correctly navigate any dangerous situations best protects you and everyone on the road.