The benefits of looking after your drivers

No matter your business’ size, your top two priorities are likely productivity and safety.

Fleet managers are required to take an active interest in the health and well-being of their drivers who make up the bulk of their business. But there are health risks of driving work and benefits to taking an active interest in employee health.

fleet driversHealth risks associated with frequent driving

Drivers must be alert to check for hazards and concentrate on the road, ensuring adherence to the Highway Code. Sitting behind the wheel for long periods is tiring; however, it can also take a toll on your health.

Drivers sit for long periods with little chance to exercise. There is also a temptation to fill up on fast food and tasty snacks, rather than search for healthier options. Together, this increases the risk of obesity which can lead to all sorts of health problems.

Fleet drivers also struggle with getting enough rest and sleep. A good night’s sleep reinvigorates and refreshes. A driver who isn’t getting enough quality shut eye can experience detrimental health problems. Shift work increases tiredness as our bodies try to cope with changing schedules and driving long distances can make us feel lethargic.

Road safety and fatigue

It’s inevitable – accidents happen on our busy and congested roads even though we implement technologies like swept path analysis to make drivers safe on the road. Unfortunately, a sizeable percentage of those are attributed to driver fatigue. Studies indicate that drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident or experience a near-miss when tired.

Fatigue directly impacts a driver’s performance. Tiredness results in reduced reaction times, a lack of focus and concentration, and errors in judgement. Fatigued drivers typically find it difficult to estimate speed and distance.

They also have a trickier time spotting potential hazards and performing manoeuvres. Drivers need their wits about them when on the road. The unexpected can and does happen, and emergency braking calls for lightning response and a clear mind.

Using a tachograph to monitor drivers can improve road safety

Fleet managers can and should fit a tachograph to each vehicle to improve road safety. These gadgets collect and collate data on:

  • Duration: How long the driver spent behind the wheel.
  • Speed: How fast the driver travelled.
  • Distance: How far the driver travelled.

Fleet managers can keep track of driver working hours and ensure employees get enough rest and relaxation to carry out their duties to the best of their ability. For safety’s sake, drivers and businesses must adhere to driving rules and regulations. If a driver is not following the rules, the tachograph will highlight this.

There are rules when using a tachograph. Small businesses and individual traders should check if they need a tachograph fitted to any of their vehicles. As a general rule, lightweight vans of up to 3.5 tonnes do not need a tachograph. Keep in mind that vehicle attachments (such as trailers) add considerable weight to your load. 

Analysing tachograph data to meet tachograph compliance

Every driver and company must adhere to rules on driver hours and tachograph regulations. Failing to comply can result in fines and penalties.

You can use tachograph analysis software to explore and manage tachograph data you collect from fleet vehicles. Look for software that provides alerts, offers easy-to-use dashboards, and generates useful reports at the touch of a button. Make sure your drivers are well-rested and ready to go!