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Although driving is considered to be among the most perilous activities performed at work, at times, insufficient importance is placed on the management of its risks. Perhaps there is some confusion with regard to which department or person is responsible for the management of driving risk. The numbers don’t lie; 250 people are seriously injured on a weekly basis in the UK as the result of crashes which occurred while driving for some work purpose.
The well-being of your drivers is at the centre of an efficient and profitable fleet. And so it only makes sense that their safety on the road be ensured.
The responsibility of risk assessment for the drivers in a fleet comes under Health and Safety. And assessing those risks must first be done by the employer. Measures must be put in place to minimise the identified risks.
What is The Biggest Driving Risk
In terms of safety, the biggest risk to any fleet driver is falling asleep while driving a fleet vehicle. Tired drivers are the cause of innumerable crashes. But knowing when driver sleepiness is most likely to occur is key to minimising or eliminating that risk completely.
The time of day that most crashes occur as the result of driver sleepiness are between the hours of 2 and 6 am, and between the hours of 2 and 4 pm, after eating or consuming alcohol. Even a single drink is enough to induce sleepiness in a driver.
A driver who hasn’t gotten enough sleep will also be prone to falling asleep while driving. This can relate to either being tired before work, or being tired while driving home from work, after a night shift, for example. Medications a driver may be taking may also be responsible for causing drowsiness.
Talking About Risks from the Beginning
Even as early in the process as recruitment and training, you can communicate the risks of driver sleepiness to employees. But managers also need to be reminded of these risks.
During regular meetings the dangers of driver sleepiness can be discussed, especially the importance of getting a good night’s sleep before arriving for work. Some of the potential causes of sleepiness can also be outlined. Other risks that can be mentioned can include the time to get to and from work from the driver’s home suggesting alternatives to driving such as public transport or carpooling with other employees to avoid having to drive all by oneself all of the time.
Illustrating some of fatigue’s early signs can be a great way to educate drivers on the risks of driving whilst fatigued. In addition to outlining risks, remember to present options that a driver can choose if they begin to experience the signs of fatigue while working on the road.
Safe journey planning is another aspect of safe driving, although this responsibility is on the fleet manager to ensure.
The Role of Route Planning Software
Safe journey planning can be achieved with route planning software. The leading route planning software products include the functionality to include regular breaks as part of the journey plan. This can also include suitable locations for overnight stops.
The safe completion of all of the journeys your drivers undertake should always be a number one priority. There are many other risks and steps to ensuring all of the drivers in your fleet are doing their jobs safely. Therefore, look for part two of this series, appearing on this blog soon.