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4 unexpected winter risks truckers must know about

12/8/2020

4 unexpected winter risks truckers must know about

When truckers think of the conditions in winter that make their jobs more dangerous, it's not difficult to conjure images of heavy snow, icy roads and high winds. Those are all big problems for any motorist, certainly, but there may be many issues truckers don't always consider that really only arise during the winter months. Just like harsh weather, they can present big risks if you don't take steps to avoid them.

The following issues are something truckers should keep in mind over the next few months, so they can keep themselves and others safe as they navigate the nation's vast network of highways and byways:

1) Increased glare throughout the day

Gloomy, grey winter skies might be the norm at this time of year, but when the sun's out, driving risk can increase, according to the National Weather Service. There are a number of reasons for this, but they tend to revolve around the fact that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun doesn't rise particularly high in the sky at any time of day. For that reason, when you're driving toward it, it's more likely to shine directly into your eyes. Or, if there's snow on the ground, the reflection of that sunlight can be blinding. As such, you'll want to be cognizant of this risk throughout the day.

2) Sun damage to your skin

Many people only associate sun damage (and sunburns) with hot weather, but the risk is still there in the winter, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. For that reason, if you're expecting to be dealing with a lot of sunlight regularly, it's important to be careful. That might mean just wearing more protection (such as a hat or sunglasses, in addition to your long sleeves and multiple layers) and applying sunscreen, but it's a long-term risk you have to take seriously.

3) Heart problems

Especially if you have a pre-existing heart condition, you will want to be extra careful about exerting yourself working outside in cold weather, according to Healthline. When temperatures drop, your heart has to work harder to keep blood flowing easily through your body, increasing both your heart rate and your blood pressure. As such, if you're lugging around boxes and doing some heavy lifting, you need to be cognizant of how you're feeling and not push yourself too hard.

4) Dehydration

Finally, it's important to keep in mind that even though it's cold out, if you're putting in some hard work or going a long time without drinking water, you're putting yourself at needless risk. Winter weather tends to be fairly dry as a general rule, and it's harder to notice that you're becoming fatigued and dehydrated when it's cold. Consequently, you should just be a little more proactive about drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will allow you to head these issues off and continue to work at your highest level of effectiveness, regardless of the weather conditions.

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