A guide to preventing fatigue whilst behind the wheel

A guide to preventing fatigue whilst behind the wheel

Van experts at Lease Van have shared five tips for tradespeople and drivers to remain in proper control of their vehicles when working long shifts.

New data has revealed that 60% of van drivers in the country are working longer hours, equating to an average of nine hours a day – which is an increase of 7% on the average working day. Anyone working for extended periods of time is more likely to feel fatigued and exhausted due to a lack of energy levels.

Tim Alcock from Lease Van comments, “The most important thing for all van drivers to do, even if they’re not working extended hours, is to stop and take regular breaks and follow the law on recommended driving hours. This differs depending on what type of vehicle you’re using – so van drivers should check the guidance on the government website.

“But there are several things you can do to prevent feelings of tiredness whilst driving – such as taking regular breaks with fresh air and staying hydrated with water and not just caffeine. Van drivers should also keep up a regular sleeping pattern even if this is during unsociable hours, so their body knows when to store or release energy.”

Here are Lease Van’s suggestions that could help prevent feelings of fatigue whilst driving:

1. Regular breaks with fresh air
Ideally, regular breaks should be taken every two or three hours for at least 30 minutes. Getting outside to stretch your legs on a rest break will help to prevent the brain from feeling foggy and fatigued. If necessary, drivers can also have a short nap on their breaks to freshen up.

2. Avoid certain times
Research shows that driving at 6am is the most common time drivers are likely to fall asleep whilst behind the wheel, with 10pm being the optimal time for focus. Although this may not be possible for shift workers, if possible, drivers should avoid travelling in the early hours.

3. Health and safety arrangements
For commercial drivers who are employed, it’s important to talk to your employer about the health and safety contracts when it comes to driving times. Any feelings of being overworked which may impact driving safety should be discussed with employers.

4. Regular sleeping pattern
Even if this is at obscure times of day due to working unsociable hours, it’s still important to maintain a regular sleeping pattern. Your body will know when to release or store energy at the right time when you go to bed and wake up consistently on schedule.

5. Stay hydrated
It can be tempting to stock up on energy drinks and caffeine whilst on the roads to prevent feelings of tiredness, but this can also impact concentration and energy levels. Make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water to fight fatigue.

For more from Lease Van, visit the company’s website by clicking here.

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