What if we were to tell you that driving in the snow, pouring rain and freezing temperatures are actually less dangerous than driving in summer? No way, right? Well… the conditions in the summer months contribute to more accidents than any other time of the year. There are various hazards which you’ve got to be careful of. Here are seven summer driving tips to keep delivery drivers safe on the road.
The topics we’ll be covering are:
- Heat Stress
- Hay Fever
- Driving While Fatigued
- Road Conditions
Dazzle from the sun proves to be the cause of many accidents on the road. Combat this by cleaning your windscreen regularly. This can lessen the effect of the rays reflecting off the dirt that can restrict your view.
Ensure that you regularly check and maintain your windscreen wipers when necessary as worn or damaged wipers could be hampering how clean your windscreen actually is.
It also pays to keep sunglasses in your car all year round - even in the UK, believe it or not. But avoid lenses that darken in strong sunlight as these can worsen your view and overall control at the wheel.
Heat stress is a major threat to many workers, especially those who work outside in the summer months. But don’t forget that heat stress at work is a threat all year round.
There are various ways that you can adequately protect your drivers from heat stress including adapting their uniforms suitably and altering their scheduled times of work. Managing and recognising heat stress in the workplace is crucial to your teams health. Both, you and your team should be aware of the various telltale symptoms. To learn what these symptoms are, read more here.
Drivers need to make sure that any medication that they are taking doesn’t cause drowsiness as this can be a big problem when trying to drive safely. Windows and vents in their vans should be closed to reduce the amount of pollen that they are exposed to.
To further reduce their chances of exposure, mats and carpets should regularly be cleaned to get rid of built-up dust and pollen. And ensure that tissues are always on hand in case a sneezing fit does occur. If a driver sneezes when travelling at 70mph down the motorway, his/her vision could be restricted for up to 100m. This not only risks their safety but also other road users too.
On a hot day, their delivery van should always be inspected before and after their round to ensure maximum safety.
For instance, batteries can fail if they get too hot. This would leave the driver stranded and potentially in a dangerous situation depending on when and where the battery decides to go flat.
Other items under the bonnet should also be checked too. Brake fluid levels, windscreen wiper fluid and radiator coolant can all improve the safety of the driver in the testing summer conditions. If they aren’t up to scratch, it can cause your engine to overheat.
If the vehicle has air-con, check that it’s had a service at the end of winter.
If your tyres are already damaged or if they’re inflated at the wrong pressure level, the higher temperatures of both the air and the road itself will increase the risk of a blowout. Your drivers need to regularly check their tyres for both pressure levels and the general condition of them too. It’s also necessary to increase tyre pressure levels for heavier vehicle loads.
Driving While Fatigued
Driving while fatigued is a major cause of accidents all year round, but it poses even more of a problem in summer. The warmer temperatures can make driving increasingly draining and drivers can become tired easier.
Ensure that you impose a compulsory 20-minute break for journeys of more than three hours. If your drivers’ journeys will exceed three hours, they should be encouraged to take a break every two hours to refresh and give themselves a little downtime before getting back out on the road. But remember, it’s better to take short, frequent breaks as opposed to one long stop.
Obviously, your drivers shouldn’t be consuming any alcohol before setting off on their daily rounds as not only is this illegal, but it can also cause drowsiness and slows down reaction time. In addition, heavy meals before driving can often make you feel sleepy and lethargic. which isn’t good for your alertness and reaction to road hazards - even more so in a warm vehicle.
If a driver does decide to take a nap on a break, ensure it’s done when parked in a safe spot. Always check the parking restrictions signs to avoid potential fines or accidents.
Roads repaired with tarmac and loose chippings are often a common sight in summer and can cause potential damage to your vehicle. Both headlights and windscreens can crack from flying debris from the road. Paintwork can also be scuffed if you’re not careful.
The best way to avoid these damages happening to your vehicle is to stick to any temporary speed limit in place and keep your distance from the car in front.
Keep Your Staff Safe This Summer
It’s not just your delivery drivers that need extra protection in the summer. The warmer temperatures produce their own unique dangers. Not too sure what these are? Don’t worry. We’ve put together a free guide to ensure that you know all the dangers and how to keep your staff as safe as possible this summer. Download our free guide here: