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Driver Fatigue: Are You Looking After Your Staff?

Driver Fatigue: Are You Looking After Your Staff?

The Department of Transport has released new figures that suggest driver fatigue is responsible for more accidents on the UK’s roads than people driving on drugs.

This new study reveals that in 2015, 18% of driving accidents arose from drug-impairment, while 20% were due to people driving in a fatigued state.  40% of the latter figure’s accidents involved commercial vehicles, implying that people’s working hours were a contributing factor to driver fatigue.

Regulations covering tiredness are less tough, or clear, than those covering driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Would more restrictions focus people’s attention on addressing the issue?  Furthermore, should businesses do more to tackle driver fatigue?

 

Dangerous Driving

“People underestimate how dangerous a task driving is, when looked at in the context of people’s working day,” Alan Locke-Timmins of fleet specialists AYCEN Group remarks. “One in five crashes is fatigue-related.”

“While many managed fleets are addressing issues of driver safety, through telematics and training, there are plenty of people driving company cars who are generally left to their own devices,” explains Alan.

 

“Driver training is not necessarily a priority, or even on the agenda, when it comes to non-managed company cars and business vehicles, whereas managed fleets are increasingly looking at driver behaviour to improve safety standards and tackle issues like fatigue”

Alan Locke-Timmins, AYCEN Group

 

Would this kind of driver training be appropriate for company cars, or would the issue of people’s personal driving habits prove too sensitive for many companies to tackle?

“Employers do have a duty of care,” Alan observes, “and this covers all on-the-road work activities when it comes to the health and safety of their employees.”

 

Responsibilities and Reasonable Measures

Would this kind of driver training be appropriate for company cars, or would the issue of people’s personal driving habits prove too sensitive for many companies to tackle?

 

“Health and Safety Regulations state that employers must assess the risks involved in their employees’ use of the road for work, and put reasonable measures in place to manage driver fatigue”

Alan Locke-Timmins, AYCEN Group

 

Were tighter regulations governing driver fatigue to come in, employers might not have a choice but to implement driver training.

“As it stands, personal lifestyles and individual driver habits largely govern how safely people drive company cars,” concludes Alan, “but there is clearly a role for employers here in how they engage, advise and support employees over safety issues.”

HR Aspects Magazine would like to thank Alan Locke-Timmins for his expert opinions on this issue.