When you drive a truck as part of your work, this sturdy and reliable vehicle becomes your lifeblood. Such an essential piece of your life should work hard to keep you safe, just as you work to keep it running and in good shape. While there are a number of ways to do that, we want to add one additional consideration to your list: lighting.
A significant part of being able to operate a truck safely is ensuring that visibility is possible at all times. Consider the ubiquity of signs proclaiming “If you can’t see our mirrors, we can’t see you!” Staying in the sight of those nearby and ensuring you can be seen in the event of an emergency is paramount. If you’re looking for ways to guarantee safety through better lighting, here are a few suggestions on how to start the process.
Auto Strobe Lights
There are a number of uses for these safety-oriented lights. First, they provide a way to signify to other drivers that you’re in an emergency situation, such as system failure or driver/passenger distress. Secondly, they offer a way to further deter potential thieves by synchronizing with your truck’s alarm. The number of flashing patterns and ultra-bright shine can draw more attention to those seeking to threaten you or your vehicle, hopefully deterring danger.
Auto strobe lights, it should be noted, are an emergency upgrade to your existing system. Care should be taken when installing and choosing to use them in any given scenario. The flashing nature of these lights is dangerous for those with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, so make such a system for essential use only.
Underbody Lighting Kit
In the event that you do experience a system failure while driving, it’s highly likely that you’ll have to pull over and fix it. On dark, stormy, or otherwise obscure roadways, visibility could be a concern, even while you’re under the vehicle inspecting damage and making repairs.
Underbody lighting isn’t designed to make the task at hand any easier, but they will make you, the individual making repairs, easier to see. Any dangling appendages are more likely to be seen if they’re illuminated by underbody lights, lowering your risk of injury from a careless or distracted passerby.
Side-of-the-road work is rarely done under convenient circumstances. It’s often attempted under duress, generally with little time to spare, and could potentially happen at night or in inclement weather conditions. If this happens, timeliness and efficiency is key. Every second counts, and measures to speed up the process are welcome.
Toolbox lighting is one way to shave minutes off your time; the ease it will provide in finding needed tools will get you under the hood or under the truck to make repairs and back on the road with less fumbling and searching. Especially if a quick repair is being completed in deep darkness or hard rain, the time saved by having a powerful light on a toolbox could make a world of difference in getting you back on the road quickly and safely.
Truck Bed Lighting
Just as with toolbox lighting, truck bed lighting could be an essential part of making repairs or retrieving supplies a quick process. These built-in lights create an effortless lighted workspace, or even illuminate a nearby area, so side-of-the-road tasks and stops don’t have to be made in complete darkness. It could also be helpful when packing items into the bed in low or limited light, maximizing usable space and preventing packing-related injuries.
Again, these lights could provide additional visibility to surrounding cars. Truck bed lighting is one more way to signify your depth to a neighboring (perhaps too close) motorist, preventing tailgating-related accidents.
Tailgate Lighting Bar
And speaking of tailgating accidents, another form of lighting that could help prevent these accidents is the tailgate lighting bar. Installed just above the bumper of the truck, it coordinates with your brake lights to further indicate to other drivers that you’ve stopped. They can also be coordinated to amplify your turn signals and hazard lights, or even signify that you’re moving in reverse.
Any additional warning you can provide for those around you can increase your odds of making a safe drive. These lights, as well as the other lights mentioned, heighten your chances of avoiding an incident or sustaining injury.
Any or all of these solutions could be right for you and your truck, but the specific combination is dependent upon a few factors:
- Nature of Your Truck’s Use: most importantly, what do you use your truck for? Trucks that tow will need different lighting solutions than ones that haul; drivers who do work on or with their truck often may need different solutions than those who use it primarily as a means of transport
- Frequency of Use: How often will you use the lighting solution you select?
- Flexibility: Toolbox lights, in particular, can be used for a number of other tasks or projects. How flexible are the other lighting solutions, and what other uses could they have for you?
- Location-Based Conditions: Are you somewhere that is frequently rainy or overcast? If so, lights designed to provide visibility for motorists are far more important for you than they would be for someone in a brighter, sunnier climate.
Any combination of lighting (or all, if appropriate) could be right for you. The questions above are not an exhaustive list; they are simply designed to get you thinking about what you might need or want. No matter which lighting you elect to add to your truck, know that you and your truck will be safer for the decision to enhance your visibility and security.
Lauren Jones is a former automotive technician who recently started a family and a new career as an automotive writer for LEDUnderbody (http://blog.ledunderbody.com/).