With temperatures creeping up and summer finally looking like it may make an appearance, it is important to consider the risks associated with driving in hot weather. We’ve compiled a list of some of the safety issues that can arise when the sun comes out and our tips to stay safe on the road.
One of the most obvious issues to be aware of is the risk of dehydration. Health authorities recommend that on average, a person should drink around 2 litres of water per day. However, when driving in the summer in hot conditions you will need to drink considerably more than this to stay well hydrated. This is particularly important as dehydration can have an adverse effect on your concentration and alertness.
Fresh air to keep you alert
Another aspect that is important to consider to ensure you remain alert whilst driving in hot weather is ventilation. Sitting in a hot, stuffy lorry cab can cause drowsiness, especially on longer journeys or when driving older vehicles not equipped with air conditioning. Try to get out in the fresh air during tacho rest breaks wherever possible, to help you feel more awake and refreshed when you get back on the road. Whilst driving, make the most of the air conditioning system if you have it, or simple keep your windows open to keep the air circulating.
Stay safe on the road in the sun
Something else to be aware of, especially if you need to have your window down for ventilation, is sunburn. Whilst trucker arm is often joked about, the risks associated with sunburn can obviously be very severe, and often fairly painful in the short term too. Make sure that you cover up or apply sun cream generously and regularly to stay safe on the road and protect your health.
Protect your eyes
The bright sunlight that accompanies hot weather can often wreak havoc on visibility, so ensure that you protect your eyes with sunglasses and make full use of visors.
Check your tyres
Another key safety consideration when driving in the summer is tyres. It may sound obvious, but air expands in heat. Even in the UK, a hot summer day can sometimes reach temperatures that will cause tyres and road surfaces to become incredibly hot. When this happens, the performance of the tyres may be compromised. However, there is also the potential risk that a tyre may blow out or even catch fire. It is advisable to check your tyres regularly (at least every 100 miles) when driving in hot weather.
Managing hayfever when driving
The final problem that may arise when driving in the summer is hayfever. Anyone who has sneezed whilst driving can confirm that it is hardly an enjoyable experience. But when driving an HGV it could potentially be very dangerous, especially if you’re prone to multiple sneezes! Being aware of when the pollen count may be particularly high and arming yourself with antihistamines are musts if you suffer from hayfever. Just be sure that any medication taken whilst driving is non-drowsy and safe to consume when operating heavy machinery or vehicles.
If you follow these simple tips, you can be sure to have a safe and relaxing summer on the road. Now all you need to do is keep your fingers crossed that summer arrives this year…!