Summer is everyone’s favourite season of the year. What not to love? The sunshine, the activities, green grass and fresh air. However, with the heat and high humidity, there are certain precautions drivers need to take in order to maintain their physical health. Here are three tips that will help drivers stay sun safe on the road.
Although this is relevant all year, the need to stay hydrated is more critical during the summer months. Hot and humid weather tends to increase perspiration, which causes you to lose more fluids in your body. Without drinking enough water and replacing lost fluids, severe dehydration could take place and require medical treatment. Symptoms of dehydration are: extreme thirst, less frequent urination, fatigue, dizziness, heat cramps, heat strokes, etc.; some of which could be extremely dangerous for truck drivers.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water like fruits (cantaloupes, watermelon, oranges, pineapples, kiwis, etc.) and vegetables; electrolyte drinks are also a good option. Drivers should always have water or other drinks in their trucks in case of an emergency. For example, if you are stopping to change a tire, or your vehicle breaks down in the middle of a run, you won’t be taking a risk of being dehydrated.
Protect your skin
Nobody is completely immune to the sun. You may not see the immediate effects of extreme heat and ultraviolet radiation, but there are many risks involved with overexposure. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, sunlight in Canada is strong enough to cause skin cancer, premature skin aging and increased infections. For our truck drivers, sun damage risks are greater due to the amount of time spent outside loading and unloading. In addition, although rear and side windows have the capacity to block UVB light, they do not protect drivers from UVA rays, which penetrate the skin on a deeper level and are harmful.
The bottom line is: protect your skin. When you are driving long haul in the sun, you can choose to cover up with light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Applying sunscreen is also essential to sun safety. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and apply generously. Sunscreen always comes in handy if you have it available in your cab.
Direct exposure to UV rays could result in painful temporary injuries to your eye, premature aging of your eye lenses cataracts and loss of vision. Skin cancers of the eyelids account for up to 10% of all skin cancers, which is an alarming figure.
To ensure your eye safety, wear sunglasses. They don’t have to be too costly to work well, but make sure you choose well-fitted ones that provide UVA and UVB protection. For drivers specifically, sunglasses are more important than ever because they need to be able to see the road without being blinded by the sunlight.
Have other sun safe tips for our drivers on the road? Share with us in the comments below!