By John Sallak

There is an old, old song (I may be the only one who remembers it!) that goes “Summertime, when the livin’ is easy…..”.  Not a bad idea, when someone is relaxing on the beach, in a campground, in the back yard. However, the song doesn’t say anything about “drivin’ is easy” in the summer. You just have to shift all of your awareness and driving skills from winter ice and snow to summer hazards.

Schools will close for the summer soon, and children will be celebrating their temporary freedom with games; activity which may be taking place near or in the streets you may have to travel with your truck. Be aware that they are not aware. Watch for bicycles, scooters, pets, and anything else that may be going on that distracts the kids from paying any attention to you or other motorists.

Our highways in many areas are in deplorable condition. With better weather, construction projects will spring up everywhere. Be cautious entering and exiting the construction zones. Lanes may be narrower; the road surface may be rutted, with chuckholes, etc.  And also, most 4-wheelers will be anxious to get around you in a hurry. Be patient.

We live in a beautiful part of the country (maybe the most beautiful, in Oregon and Washington). We will soon be loading up with tourists from all over the U.S. and from many other countries. The one thing they will all have in common is that they may not be paying any attention to you. They may be too busy looking at waterfalls, mountains, and city attractions.

How will you recognize them?  Maps on the dashboard (possibly opened up in the driver’s hands), out of state plates, erratic driving near roadside attractions; motor homes and tour buses. This is a time when you truly “drive for 5”:  Your own safety, plus another 4 (or more) amateurs who are surrounding you.

And finally, here are some things your mother told you:

Use sunscreen

Drink a lot of water

Wear sunglasses if needed

Wear your seat belt

Don’t wear flip-flops at work; wear good boots

And for our trucking clients, use a 3-point contact when you enter or exit your truck.

Please take care of yourselves through the season.  We want you to enjoy some of that “summertime; livin’ is easy” stuff.