Tiredness impacts awareness and reaction times and are a major contributing factor in car accidents in the UK. This becomes especially important as the holiday period closes in some companies will find their staff levels are reduced with many employees taking holiday, which can introduce increase stresses on other employees to cover work requirements. The change in work hours can have a detrimental effect on employees that drive for work, impacting their performance and driving ability through increased fatigue.
This is especially important when you consider statistics from road safety charity, Brake, that shows that while government figures indicate that fatigue only contributes to just 4% of road fatalities and 2% of all road casualties; it is believed that the figures are drastically an under-estimation. This is due it being difficult to spot tiredness compared to police being able to test for alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, a simulated study by the National Central University in Jhongli, analysed 90-minutes of motorway driving, measuring their alertness and vigilance and how the length of time impairs them. The study concluded that the long journey time slowed the driver’s reactions when compared to drivers who broke up journeys, stating “driving for just 80 minutes without a break can make motorists a danger on the roads”.
Furthermore, it should be noted that companies have a legal requirement as part of their duty of care to their employees to ensure that they are offering practical precautions, as far as reasonably feasible for companies to do so, to ensure that workers who drive are not a risk when driving company vehicles.
Therefore, it is important for managers to control work-related road safety to help reduce risk to their employees as well as other road users by taking practical steps to ensure that employees are not overworked or fatigued when they drive. Fortunately, fleet managers can use Skyline to monitor the potential impact of tiredness and take positive action before any issues arise.
Utilising duty reporting from the Skyline suite of reports means that managers can see overall working hours of each of their drivers, ensuring that not only that they are not working too long hours but also check if they are taking the correct amount of time away from the wheel throughout the day to relieve tiredness. Additionally, managers can review historical journeys across the month, week or days to highlight drivers that have a history of driving for too long and act to educate them of the risks involved before the Christmas period. Additionally, for further education utilising Skyline’s driver behaviour monitoring enables management to show drivers who drive for too long or don’t take enough breaks over the day impacts how they drive.
It is especially important to management to continuously advise and monitor driver’s behaviour in the lead-up and over the Christmas period to ensure that not only is the company fulfilling their legal requirement to protect their employees, but also checking that drivers are resting enough to maintain their expected performance levels.