We all have those days when we wake up feeling exhausted and unrefreshed.
Those mornings tend to be especially painful as we drag ourselves through the motions of getting ready for the day. Then clutching a cup of coffee we drag ourselves into the car for our morning commute. Maybe it takes you ten minutes, or it takes you an hour, either way, you are feeling drowsy behind the wheel. The radio is turned up loud on your favorite music or news station, and you struggle to focus on the road. But then, you arrive at your office, and you begin your day. Sure, you’re tired, but you’re pulled into meetings or thrown a new task that distracts you from your exhaustion for the rest of the day.
Now imagine you’re a commercial driver. You get to work in the morning only to step into another vehicle and begin a long day of driving from place to place or maybe starting a long journey on the road. You are driving a massive, hazardous vehicle and you need to focus on the task at hand no matter how dreary the side of the highway looks. If you drift off for even a moment, you could cross into another lane and hit someone else or stray off the road and hit a tree.
Although you may not realize it, fatigue-related accidents involving commercial vehicles happen more than you think. In fact, as many as “40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles”.
Driver fatigue is a serious problem. This issue is not a matter of making sure you can keep your eyes open in a meeting in an office; you need to stay alert behind the wheel to protect your own life and the lives of other drivers or pedestrians.
Causes of Driver Fatigue
- Driving at night when their body naturally wants to sleep
- Not sleeping enough
- Working overtime
- Driving long distances without adequate rest periods
If your drivers are not getting the recommended amount of sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking enough rest breaks, they are putting themselves and other drivers on the road at risk. Accidents not only have the potential to injure your drivers and damage your vehicles, but they can also hurt your company’s image. To prevent unnecessary accidents, you need to address this problem. But how?
Signs of Driver Fatigue
- Accidents caused by slower reaction time
- Speeding caused by an inability to concentrate and observe limits
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Unsafe behaviors caused by poor judgment
Solution to Driver Fatigue
Monitoring your driver’s behavior with a fleet safety management software is a great way to start. If you can watch their behavior, you can begin to find patterns in their driving: good or bad, that could indicate that your drivers are not getting enough rest. Proper fleet safety and driver safety management are essential to maintaining an efficient and productive fleet.
With the data-driven insights provided by the software, you can develop and implement driver safety training to correct any unsafe driver behaviors. By catering your driver safety training plans to meet your fleet’s specific weaknesses, you can quickly correct driver behaviors that impact your overall productivity. Train your drivers not only to practice safe driving behaviors but also to get the recommended amount of sleep to ensure that they are driving safely.
On top of that, the new ELD mandate requires that your fleet adopt an electronic log of driver’s hours which can help you keep track of how long each driver is on the road. Using this insight, you can make changes to your driver’s schedules that can allow them to get enough sleep each night, so they are alert while driving.
Protecting the safety and well-being of your drivers and other people on the road starts with proper monitoring of fleet safety and training development. You have the power to protect your fleet’s drivers from making very dangerous and expensive mistakes that could cost them their lives or your business.
Could your fleet benefit from driver safety training? Take our free workforce safety quiz to find out.