In the current heatwave, it’s important to stay safe and protected against the effects of the heat and the sun. Contrary to what people may think, being in a vehicle doesn’t make you immune to these effects – in fact, it is even more important to stay safe in the heat when you’re driving, since you don’t want to cause an accident due to heat exhaustion or dehydration.
Read on below as we list our top three tips for staying safe in the heat as an HGV driver this summer.
1 | Stay Hydrated and Alert
The hotter it is, the more bodily fluids you lose through sweat. If you do not replace these fluids by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water, then this can lead to dehydration, in which you may experience dizziness, nausea and fatigue. As a driver, this can reduce your concentration levels, which is both dangerous for you and the other motorists around you.
This is why it is important to drink plenty before your drive and to keep a supply of water on your lorry with you. If you run out of drinks, then it’s a good idea to stop off at a service station to restock (as well as to grab some food, stretch your legs and get some fresh air).
It’s also important, for obvious reasons, that you stay alert when driving. Being sat driving for hours on end can be tiring as it is, let alone when it’s hot. This isn’t helped by being stuck in a stuffy lorry cab, which is why it’s important to get some fresh air while you’re driving to keep you both cool and awake.
If the lorry you’re driving has an air conditioning system, then make the most out of this to keep you cool and comfortable. Alternatively, you can keep the windows open to keep the air circulating.
2 | Keep Safe in the Sun
Many often joke about “trucker’s arm”, yet the risks associated with this can actually be very severe. Being sat next to a window for the full duration of your journey means that you are exposed to the sun for a prolonged amount of time, which can lead to severe and often painful sunburn. This can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer later on in life.
As such, it is important that you cover up and/or apply suncream generously, so that you are protecting your health whilst on the road.
It is just as important to protect your eyes, also. The glare of the sun can often wreak havoc on visibility when driving, especially when it’s beaming directly into your face or reflecting off the road and other vehicles around you. This is why you should don a pair of sunglasses and make full use of your visor, not only to protect your eyes but to improve your visibility when driving and reduce the chances of an accident occurring.
3 | Check Your Tyres
Did you know that air expands when it’s hot? This includes the air in your tyres. Even in the UK, the high temperatures of a summer’s day can cause tyres and road surfaces to become extremely hot. This can not only compromise the health of your lorry’s tyres, but in extreme cases it can even lead to a tyre blowing out or even catching fire.
You should always check your tyres regularly when driving in hot weather. This is something you or your fleet manager should be in the habit of doing anyway as a part of responsible commercial fleet maintenance.
Are you responsible for fleet management? If so, you may be in need of reliable lorry servicing. Contact us here at Transcare for more information on how we can help you maintain your fleet.