Summertime weather makes it easy to let your guard down on the road. Most people do not realize that the extreme temperatures, construction, and vacation travel season can lead to dangerous driving conditions and affect various parts of your vehicle. Post pandemic, the roads are busier than ever as people get out “In The Real” to pursue outdoor adventures all summer long.
Every season brings its elements, but fall, winter and spring conditions are expected to be difficult with snow and heavy rain in many states. Make sure to stay on guard even when the weather appears to be perfect.
Here are the four key things RealTruck recommends fleets watch out for while driving a pickup or work truck this summer and top products to help you stay safe while driving:
Issue 1: Tire blowouts
In the summer, tire blowouts are common due to the rise in temperature. Air pressure increases as temperatures rise and as wheels turn on hot pavement, friction adds additional heat. If a tire is not properly inflated, it can easily blow. The best way to avoid this scenario is to regularly check your tire quality and pressure. Keep an air compressor in your truck, so if you are airing down to off-road, or on a trip and notice your tire is low, you can get it back to the appropriate pressure.
If you or another driver are in a muddy area or end up down a hill off the road, recovery straps can help get the vehicle back to safety. If you need to replace your tire, make sure to purchase a replacement immediately, as it is not good to drive on a spare. Lastly, be cautious of other vehicles on the road. If a car or truck in front of you has a tire blowout, the rubber can fly and be a hazard to others on the road.
Issue 2: Overheated Engines
During the peak summer months, engines tend to overheat, especially in parts of the country that see triple-digit temperatures. If your engine overheats you can try to turn off your car in a cooler area, ideally in a garage or shade, to see if your engine warning signals go off. If so, your engine is most likely fine. If not, take your truck to get inspected as soon as possible.
If these signals are ignored for too long your truck can overheat to the point where you will notice smoke coming from your engine, possibly even a funky smell. If this happens pull over immediately and turn your truck off. If you cannot pull over right away, run your heater and blower to pull heat from your hood and engine until you can safely stop.
Issue 3: Battery Problems
The heat can quickly drain the liquid in your battery. As liquid leaks due to high temperatures, the battery case can start to erode causing damage. To avoid this, keep an eye on your dashboard to view your battery life, and do regular checks and cleaning. If you see your battery level is staying low, make sure to either take your truck in for inspection, or simply replace the battery yourself. If your battery dies on the road, keep a portable battery kit in your backseat or truck bed so you can have someone give you a jump.
Issue 4: Vacation Traffic
The months of May through September are the most popular travel months. With the rise in the number of vehicles on the road, in addition to the summer construction that takes place, traffic is a huge challenge.
Give yourself plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you on freeways and highways, and if towing anything behind your truck be sure to have all your towing equipment securely installed and don’t forget to have adequate tow mirrors so you can see everyone around and behind you. Many areas during the summer also have increased fog. Install fog lights like the Diode Dynamics S33’s to ensure you, and other drivers can safely navigate the road and surroundings day or night.
Staying Summer Safe
Every season brings different challenges to navigate while driving. If you stay informed of the potential risks and what to do if something happens, you will be prepared to handle them. Make the most out of your summer when traveling the open road, by following these tips and purchasing these products at RealTruck.com.
About the Author: Tony Ambroza is chief growth officer of RealTruck, formerly Truck Hero. RealTruck is the premier vertically integrated truck, Jeep and off-road parts and accessories company in North America. Before joining the company in 2021 to head up the ecommerce business, Ambroza was chief brand officer at Carhartt, Inc., where he led brand engagement across the entire customer journey. This article was authored and edited according to WT editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not reflect that of WT.