Truck Drivers Need to Stay Safe in Extreme Heat


Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Summer is here. For kids, that means summer vacation and pool parties. For truck drivers, that means extreme heat and dangerous cross-country trips.

Last year, a heatwave in the northwest of the US resulted in over 100 fatalities in Washington and Oregon. This past month, areas in both Mississippi and Texas saw record-breaking temperatures, about 100 degrees, and we can expect more records to be broken over the rest of the season.

NBC News reports that cities across the country are readying their communities for the risks of extreme heat waves. The patterns of a globally-shifting climate are resulting in more severe highs and lows in heat and cold.

Truck Drivers Need to Stay Safe

Truck drivers, first and foremost, need to look after their own health. During the heat waves of summer, drivers should stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Even if it means more bathroom breaks.

Falling asleep at a truck stop while already dehydrated can be especially dangerous. Dehydration can impair your ability to drive, cause physical illness, and could even result in death.

When sleeping, drivers should always keep the truck running with the air conditioner or use a cooling unit and generator.

Many drivers don’t wear sunscreen, but that solution comes highly recommended during the summer heat. Even if it’s just your left arm hitting the sun, that can cause severe burning over the course of 10 hours of driving. If you don’t want to wear the lotion, then put on a long-sleeve shirt

Keep Your Truck Safe

Besides their own health, truck drivers need to ensure the maintenance of their truck. During a heat wave, the extreme temperatures can affect the amount of friction created by your brakes. And a failure to brake can be disastrous.

Drivers should always perform their pre-trip inspection, taking special care when looking at brakes and also tires.