Although winter driving is treacherous in many parts of the country, summer heat can be just as dangerous. More extreme weather is happening everywhere and during every season, and it seems no state is immune from extreme cold or heat. With summer approaching, frost and rain won’t put all motorists on alert, but other weather risks should.
Milder summer weather means more drivers on the roads, including truckers. It’s important, therefore, to be extra careful when driving at higher speeds. Staying safe as a passenger vehicle driver could depend on your ability to drive defensively when the driver of another car or a large semi-truck makes an error or faces another emergency.
Common Risks for Truck Drivers in the Summer
In summer, truck drivers face an array of heat-related problems that can cause catastrophic accidents for everyone on the road near them. It is their duty to make conscious, safety-centered choices based on the weather conditions in which they are operating their trucks. Proper maintenance of a vehicle is also a summer must.
The following are reasons why trucking in the summer can be dangerous and the possible ways to combat accident risks:
Most people who drive a car know to raise or lower the air pressure in their tires depending upon the season. Well, think about how many tires there are on a semi: 18. If the driver or owner doesn’t properly maintain the tire pressure for the season, there is a much greater chance that the tire will explode while driving. The negligent maintenance of tire pressure could be a direct reason why a truck accident occurs and leads to injuries.
As the tire warms up from use while driving, high temperatures could push it beyond its limits. A driver could lose control after a blowout, even though the other tires should help balance the weight. Also, the debris on the road from a blown tire is a severe hazard to other drivers.
It’s also important for drivers to maintain proper tire pressure to ensure that the trailer can support the weight of the load its transporting. Drivers must understand how much weight each tire can support and how to properly distribute and secure the contents to prevent the load from shifting during the haul.
Trucking safety regulations at all levels of government are intended to protect truck drivers and passengers on the road. Regulations provide a checklist of inspection routines that the drivers and owners should perform before a driver gets to work. But, in summer, it’s especially important to ensure that they perform the inspections and maintenance needed to keep the engine cool.
Stalled trucks are accidents waiting to happen, especially at night. If the trailer owner has not properly lit the trailer, an unknowing driver could crash into it from the side or behind.
Driver Health and Fatigue
It is quite simple. Summers can get hot, particularly in Texas. Summer heat can cause dehydration. Dehydrated drivers who work long hours are at risk for causing accidents. When dehydration, hunger and sleep deprivation combine with extreme temperatures, catastrophic accidents can happen.
Truck drivers should ensure that their air conditioning is in good working order, stay hydrated and wear clothing that wicks-away heat and moisture. Regulations govern how much sleep drivers should be getting to avoid exactly this toxic combination of heat and exhaustion.
Winds Are Stronger in Summer
High winds could force a truck to lose control and roll over. Even a slight wind can cause a vehicle to straddle the lane, sway or jackknife. The bigger the vehicle the more the wind affects its stability.
When driving next to a truck, especially on overpasses in open areas, give the truck some room just in case the winds affect the driver’s ability to control the rig. Truckers must maintain proper space from other vehicles as well when they know they are in a windy otherwise dangerous conditions.
Call Us If You’ve Been in a Truck Accident
If you were involved in a truck accident, we know you have questions and want justice. We can help address your concerns and get on the road to recovery. Call Ted B. Lyon & Associates at 800-TedLyon today.