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Tips for HGV Drivers to Keep Cool As Heatwave Approaches UK

16 June 2022

With a three-day heatwave approaching the UK and with the Met Office issuing a health alert as temperatures are to reach 34 degrees, it’s important drivers keep cool as they head out on the road.

NHS England and the Met Office have issued a level two heat-health alerts for the East Midlands, east of England, the southeast and the southwest, meaning there is a 60% chance of a heatwave during this period.

A level one warning covers parts of northern England, where the probability of heatwave conditions is 30%, while there is a 40% chance in the West Midlands.

With this in mind, HGV recruitment and training specialists, Driver Hire, are providing their tips on how HGV drivers can keep cool whilst driving in the heat:

Before leaving

Freeze bottles of water and keep cooling sprays and handheld fan misters in the fridge, topping them up with chilled water just before you leave.

Whilst on the road

Always ensure you have enough water with you and take regular breaks. Driving in the summer months also means there is a greater risk of having your vision impaired by the sunlight, especially if you’re driving towards it. This can be distracting and may cause you to have longer reaction times to issues on the road. All drivers should make sure they have a pair of sunglasses, which will also protect eyes from harmful UV rays, on hand to keep their vision glare-free.

Keep parked cabs cool

Delivery schedules may make this impossible, but if you can, try to avoid driving during the hottest part of the day and avoid parking in direct sunlight. If you have to park in the sun, use windscreen sunshades on your dashboard to reflect the sun’s heat.

Air conditioning vs open windows

There’s the old debate of whether air con is more expensive than driving with open windows. If you’re driving slowly, like you would through a town or built-up area, open windows will keep you cool. However, when you’re going faster, such as on a motorway, the wind resistance created by open windows will use more fuel than running on aircon.

Richard Owen-Hughes, Marketing Director at Driver Hire Training commented “Driving a larger vehicle during hot weather can be challenging, so it’s important drivers are taking regular breaks and staying hydrated to remain alert. To make the journey more comfortable, make use of cooling systems on board. It’s also advisable to bring a cool box with things such as cool packs and water which you can use on the journey.”