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Safety Newsletter – July 2023
Driver Resources, Newsletters July 20, 2023

Safety Newsletter – July 2023

Summer Driving Tips

Summer presents its fair share of driving challenges. With longer daylight hours and outdoor activities competing for our attention, it can be more difficult to get appropriate rest before each driving cycle. Here are some tips for driving safely in the summer:

  1. Know what to expect. Before leaving, monitor weather conditions.
  2. Stay Hydrated. Limit your exposure to direct sunlight as much as possible. Drink more fluids, but try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar as these can all dehydrate you. Consider packing a cooler with water.
  3. Protect yourself. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that does not create a safety hazard for your work environment. If outdoors, wear a hat to reduce direct exposure to the sun.
  4. Be prepared. Plan your trips to give yourself a little extra time to handle the increased congestion, especially around urban areas, vacation destinations and road construction.
  5. Conduct Pre-Trips. Before leaving the yard make sure to do a thorough pre-trip inspection. Heat can put added stress on equipment, and you want to make sure your rig is in top operating condition. Pay particular attention to tires to ensure they are properly inflated and there is no irregular wear or other damage.
  6. Stay vigilant. Be alert to construction zones and slow down. Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision. Be aware many motorists will use your vehicle as a wedge to dash to the front of the queue and dart in at the last minute from your right or left blind spots. Anticipate such behavior.
  7. Remain Patient. Remember to remain patient and stay calm. Summer driving hazards exist. A little more preparation and vigilance on your part will help avoid the potential for disaster, even if you are not at fault.

Do Not Twist When You Lift

When you twist your lower back, such as during a golf swing, bending to unload grocery bags, or moving an item from one location to another, you run the risk of overstretching or tearing any of the large muscles or supporting ligaments around your spine.

Avoiding Twisting Back Injuries:

Evaluate the lift before performing it. This includes:

  • The horizontal distance
  • The vertical distance through which the load is handled
  • The amount of trunk twisting that might be needed
  • The ability of your hands to grasp the load
  • The frequency in which the load will be handled

Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways, especially while you are bending your back.

Avoid repetitive or sustained twisting, stretching, or leaning to one side.

Safe Turning/Twisting tip:

  • To turn, move your feet instead of twisting your body at the waist.
  • Keep your shoulders level and turn your hips and shoulders together.
  • Take short steps around.
  • Try pivoting on the heel closest to where you are headed.
  • Step forward out of the turn.
  • Keep your load close to you and do not twist and lift at the same time.
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