British summertime has always been treated as folklore, a running joke among many. Most of us will remember the crushing disappointment of rainclouds keeping the ice-cream van at bay, reducing us to spending our summer holidays chewing on a freezer-burnt choc-ice next to the radiator. Now, we’re finally seeing the weather pick up, with prolonged heatwaves that are getting hotter each year. If you’re driving long distances in your truck or van in this weather, it’s important that you’re prepared for the impact of the heat!
The most crucial thing you can do to take care of yourself in hot weather is to stay hydrated. With sweating being one of the more uncomfortable side-effects of sunny weather, it’s important that you rehydrate often to keep your body functioning properly.
If you don’t have the option for many bathroom breaks you can easily rehydrate by eating water-rich foods such as watermelon and strawberries.
It goes without saying but iced drinks are great for cooling down, so keeping a freezer bag full of ice packs and drinks in the vehicle is a great way of making sure you always have an option to cool down.
Hot weather is notorious for headaches. If you don’t drink enough water then it’s likely that you have suffered this pain fairly recently. One obvious preventative is to stay as hydrated as possible to avoid a headache, but making sure that you have something to help reduce the discomfort and help you retain as much focus on your surroundings as possible will help to keep you safe.
If you have the opportunity to take a break then a cold compress on your face and neck should help to reduce the headache. Small amounts of caffeine are also good for stopping a headache. You would get enough caffeine for this from a cup of tea. Some people think that certain pressure points can also provide the means to help to reduce the discomfort from a headache.
When faced with hot weather our bodies try to regulate the heat and work harder to keep us cool, which can quickly make us feel sleepy. We find that the same thing happens in winter when our bodies are cold and are trying to retain heat. This means that it’s likely that you’re starting to feel sleepy whilst driving, which can be incredibly dangerous.
The main thing that you can do to stop yourself from getting tired is to stay hydrated. This will help your body to recover from sweating, stopping it from needing to work as hard. If you don’t have great air-con then making sure you carry cold drinks in a freezer bag will be a great way of helping your body temperature to regulate - preventing you from getting too tired.
In hot weather you may feel like you need more breaks than usual. Sitting in the shade is an obvious choice for cooling off but it’s still important to pack suncream to avoid getting burnt.
Another thing you can do to help cool down on your driver breaks is to soak a towel in cold water and press it on your face, the top of your head, the back of your neck or on your wrists. This will help to cool your blood, resulting in a lower body temperature.
Taking your shoes and socks off will also help as heat tends to radiate in your hands, feet, face and ears so cooling your feet down should help to reduce your overall temperature.