Driving in the summer heat

Winter isn’t the only season that can take a toll on driving safety. It is important to keep workers safe on the road during summer, too. Extreme heat can damage your company’s fleet vehicles and put workers at risk of a breakdown. Workers who drive as part of their job may be sharing the roads with fatigued or impaired travelers on their way to or returning from vacation. Many workers either drive their own personal vehicle while others may be driving a company vehicle approved for personal use.
Below are ways that employers can keep their workers safe while driving in hot weather conditions. Use the following tips for on- and off-the-job driving.
  • Conduct a vehicle safety check before workers travel.
    • Check tire pressure and tread wear. Make sure any spare tires are also in good condition.
    • Check the cooling system, including coolant (antifreeze) level and quality.
    • Check oil, brake, transmission, power steering, and windshield washer fluids.
    • Check the condition of all belts and hoses.
    • Check air conditioning performance.
  • Provide workers with a sunshade to block heat when the vehicle is parked and a driver emergency kit that includes: bottled water, nonperishable snacks, portable phone charger, flashlight, batteries, flares, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.
  • Give workers information about road construction/closures. Remind them to allow time for possible delays.
  • Set policies that allow drivers to consult with their supervisors to adjust driving hours if they have trouble seeing at night, and to stop driving if they are too tired or the weather is bad.
  • Remind workers:
    • Buckle up: every trip, every person. It only takes a second.
    • Do not drive if you are fatigued. Stop and take breaks as needed.
    • Keep alert and aware of your surroundings. Other drivers may be impaired, fatigued, or rushing to reach their destinations.
    • Talk to your supervisor and co-workers about potential hazards on your planned route, including road construction, bad weather, or dangerous curves.
The bottom line: Keep your fleet cool in the summer heat.