Employees that drive long distances are prone to fatigue, and can jeopardize everyone’s safety. Studies from the Governors Highway Safety Association show that 328,000 crashes per year are caused by drowsy driving, and 109,000 from it resulted in injury and 6,400 caused fatal crashes.
What Causes Driver Fatigue?
– The length of time that the person is awake, driving, or working.
– The time of the day.
– The quality and quantity of the driver’s sleep.
– Driving experience.
– The driver’s personal health (age, body temperature, condition, lifestyle, presence of stress or any sleep disorder).
Intense fatigue can be hazardous. It’s important for your driver to recognize if they’re simply tired, or if they’re dangerously fatigued. Here are some symptoms that occur when you’re dangerously fatigued. If you or your driver experience any of these you must to take action to become more alert.
– Droopy eyes.
– Excessive yawning.
– Inability to keep your eyes open.
– Showing signs of stress.
– Bloodshot eyes.
– Slow response times.
-Driving with your hands low on the steering wheel, and elbows in your lap.
Are you experiencing these symptoms? Here’s how you can reduce your driving fatigue.
1. Sleep Schedule – Encourage a full night of sleep before a long shift. At least 7-9 hours of quality sleep is needed to achieve the optimal level. For long trips allow your driver to take naps along the way and when needed.
2. Communication – Keep open communication with your driver. This creates an environment that encourages open communication, and allows your employee to tell you if they are unable to drive you due to fatigue.
3. Temperature Control – A warm environment can increase the feeling of tiredness and drowsiness. During warmer seasons encourage your driver to bring a handheld fan that can be mounted in the dashboard.
4. Avoid Heavy Meals – Having large hearty meals can increase the feeling of drowsiness. As the stomach digests food it decreases the oxygen in the brain, which causes a feeling of drowsiness. Encourage your driver to eat energizing foods such as yogurt or peanut butter. Moderate levels of caffeine can also help to keep your driver alert.
5. Proper Scheduling – It is important to have a consistent work shift as this will maintain the quality of your employees’ service. Encourage employees to inform you in advance if they cannot fulfill their shift so you can find a capable replacement.
Driver fatigue is one of the biggest threats to the safety of your driver and the people they’re driving.
Keep your drivers safe by forwarding them this article on techniques for reducing driver fatigue. Protect your business by insuring your commercial vehicles with Klinger Insurance.
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