The Most Dangerous Season for Drivers
Summer is just around the corner, and while that means sunny skies and beach days for most, for truck drivers, it means one of the most dangerous seasons to be on the road. Statistics show that truck driving is one of the deadliest professions around – in 2017, 745 truckers were killed on the road in fatalities, and the summer months seem to be the time when this number grows most rapidly. Here at Suppose U Drive, we are committed to keeping you educated and as safe as can be when you’re on the road and avoid driving dangerously and threatening both your life and the lives of others sharing the road with you. So, we’ve compiled some of the most pertinent information to help you stay safe this summer season!
Beware of Drunk Drivers
Over 1.5 million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence, and during summer months, this number only increases – especially around the 4th of July – between 2010 and 2014, the holiday had the second highest percentage of car crash deaths related to alcohol, and July 3rd was also in the top 10. When it comes to truck accidents, these sorts of incidents can have catastrophic consequences due to the size and weight of the vehicles. In order to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening, it is important to know the regulations for DUIs (including those involving truck drivers) and stay educated about them. It is illegal in all 50 states for a truck driver to be behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that could cause their driving ability to be impaired. Across the country, truck drivers must refrain from consuming alcohol at least 4 hours before operating their vehicle. If you’ve had something to drink and aren’t feeling your 100% best and most alert, take a break and know your limits.
Make Sure Your Truck Is Properly Maintained
While this seems like common sense, it is absolutely vital to make sure that your truck is properly maintained and up to speed so that you are able to drive safely with no doubts or hesitations. Be sure to check your tires, make sure you get an oil change before heading out on any lengthy drives, and overall make sure your truck is tuned up and ready to drive for the long haul. Both your truck and you should be in the best possible shape before you head off on the road this summer, in order to ensure that you are driving as safely as you possibly can!
Be Cautious of the Newbies
During the summer months, school is out of session and teens have more free time on their hands, which translates to an influx of new drivers on the road. Historically, summer months are the most dangerous for teen drivers – with the highest percentage of motor vehicle collisions. Stay cautious and alert of your various surroundings on the road and avoid driving in situations that do not seem safe or sit well with you. When all else fails, use your judgment to sense out if the roads are safe to drive on during these summer months!
Watch Out for Tourists
In addition to new drivers and teenagers, tourists can also make roads a little more dangerous during these summer months. Millions of tourists each year rent cars when they travel, and other tourists will drive their own cars on road trips as opposed to flying to their destination in order to cut down on costs.
These travelers are, more often than not, unfamiliar with the roads in the area where they are traveling, which can result in a dangerous and catastrophic accident if these drivers are not paying attention or being as vigilant as they could be. This is especially prevalent in areas surrounding huge tourist destinations such as New York City, Orlando, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas. Many tourists tend to rent cars when they travel in these areas, and as a result, the roads can become congested and tourists who are not aware of the rules of the road or driving conditions in the area can get into severe auto accidents.
Make sure you are doing your part to make the roads safe for yourself and for others – keep your eyes on the road, always make sure to remain alert and focused, and maintain a reasonable speed and distance between your truck and the other cars on the road in order to drive as safely as you possibly can.
Awareness is key – make sure you are placing focus on the behavior of drivers surrounding you so that you can avoid dangerous drivers and potentially save lives.
Rest, Rest, & More Rest
Incidents of truck drivers falling asleep behind the wheel are more common than one would think, and extremely devastating – for example, in the summer of 2015, a Washington truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel and collided into a car and a school bus, killing the driver of the car and leaving dozens of students injured. In order to prevent a dangerous and terrible fatality like this one from occurring, it’s important to schedule out rest breaks for yourself, or to go to the nearest truck stop or rest area when you feel yourself getting tired. It seems like common knowledge but taking the time to schedule out your drives could potentially save lives!
Keep an Eye on the Temperature
It’s obvious that summertime goes hand in hand with hotter temperatures, especially on the west coast and in areas of the south. When an engine overheats, it could cause some serious damage to your truck, so try using the air conditioning for a little bit to let off some steam or take some breaks to allow your truck the opportunity to cool down!
While all of this advice is imperative to staying safe on the road during these coming summer months, it’s crucial to use your best judgment and drive with caution or stop and take a break if you notice that driving conditions are becoming challenging. If driving conditions become dangerous, it could be best to take a break to recharge and wait until the conditions become safer and more optimal to drive in. The most important part in getting to your destination is making sure you’re safe on the way!