Last month saw some scorching temperatures even in locations that are used to hot weather. California, Texas, and Arizona all saw week-long stretches of temperatures in triple digits and at least 10 degrees above normal. Even parts of the upper Midwest and the Northeast saw days when the mercury passed 90 degrees and humidity hovered over 90 percent.
And, with summer’s official arrival Saturday, June 20 (at 5:44 p.m. EDT to be precise) don’t expect things to cool off any time soon.
Because of that, it makes sense to prepare to deal with increased temperatures that can, at times, be bad for your health. While in your truck, air conditioning can be helpful, but be aware that you will need protection and caution when you’re outside the cab, and especially if you’re securing a flatbed load or even just walking to stretch your legs during a break.
To avoid being beaten by the heat, be sure to:
- Dress properly. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that breathes. Choose light colors that reflect the sun’s rays and not absorb them. Be sure to wear a hat — one with a broad brim, if possible — to keep the sun off your face and neck.
- Drink up. It’s important to stay well-watered, even inside your truck. Dehydration leaves you feeling lousy and can contribute to cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. And, it’s better to drink a little often, than gulp a lot all at once.
- Wear sunscreen. Yes, we do know we sound like your mom before sending you out to play as a kid, but sunscreen works. Just be sure it has an SPF rating of at least 15, which blocks 93% of UVB rays. Look for one that is water and sweat resistant. Be sure to keep your left arm and the left side of your face covered, to protect against the sun coming through your driver’s side window.
- Wear sunglasses. Don’t scrimp and don’t buy ones that are fashionable but do little to protect your eyes. Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB light, and wear glasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare when driving.
- Stay rested. Increased heat and humidity can drain your energy and make you logy, something you can ill-afford while behind the wheel. Be sure to get good rest while on your breaks so you are at your best when driving.
The Centers for Disease Control offers these hot weather health tips.