Summer is here bringing warmer weather and increased travel times especially during holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day. In fact, AAA predicts they will assist nearly eight million drivers roadside this year, “with the top reasons being flat tires, lockouts and dead batteries.” It’s important for all drivers, not just truck drivers, to do regular maintenance checks and prepare for travel conditions throughout May and the rest of the summer. While it is tempting to turn up the music and let the wind blow through our windows, we all benefit from more vigilance, not less.
Here are some summer safety tips for truck drivers:
Prepare for rain, storms & flooding
According to the Federal Highway Administration, “75 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on wet pavement and 47 percent happen during rainfall.” Hydroplaning and the danger of wet slick roads are a possibility during summer thunderstorms. Make sure your brakes are in top condition and always give yourself plenty of time to come to a stop.
Keep an eye out for animals
With growing vegetation, animals are less visible on roadsides and can move closer to the highway during the summer to forage. Keep an eye out as you drive and make sure you are vigilant about areas with higher instances of wildlife especially during dusk and dawn when most animals are more active. This also includes our four legged friends like dogs and cats if you happen to be in more populated areas.
Watch out for cyclists and people
Summer brings with it lots of outdoor activities, cycling being one of the biggest. Remember to share the road and be mindful as some cyclists may not be familiar with the correct rules of the road or signaling. In more populated areas keep a watchful eye for children and families – especially during times of high traffic like holiday weekends. Drive with patience as cars full of people can have other drivers distracted.
Additional Safety Tips
Roads can have damage from harsh winter weather or hail. Keep an eye out for potholes, or infrastructure damage. Road construction is also common during the summer months so be mindful of road crews and posted speed limits.
Make sure your truck has regular maintenance such as checking your lights, turn signals, brake lights, new wiper blades, and good tire pressure.
Safety isn’t just about truck maintenance. Make sure you are taking care of yourself first. That includes managing your stress and making sure you are drawing enough attention to yourself if you have to pull over.
At Reliance Transportation we are dedicated to the career satisfaction, success, and safety of our drivers. Learn more about becoming a member of our team.