AA: Fleets must safeguard drivers to prevent quarter of fatal accidents

By rotide
Created 04/12/2018 - 07:57
Jennie Hill 2.PNG

The AA is urging fleet managers to safeguard their drivers after new research has revealed that one in eight (13%) UK motorists admit to falling asleep at the wheel, with drowsy driving responsible for a quarter of fatal crashes.

The research, which was commissioned by the AA Charitable Trust, forms part of a wider campaign aimed at tackling the dangers of driving while tired. Among its findings are the startling revelation that men are three times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than women, while nearly two fifths of drivers say they have been so tired when driving that dropping off has been a real cause for concern.

"The dangers of driving while tired are well known, but these figures prove there are too many incidents of drivers over estimating their ability to drive while fatigued," said Jennie Hill, AA director of business services. "Fleet drivers are especially at risk, in part due to business pressures requiring staff to cover as many miles, or complete as many jobs, as possible during a working day.

"Allowing your team to drive when tired can prove a fatal business decision. Firms have a legal obligation to ensure company car drivers are as safe as possible while driving. Organisations can be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter if an employee is involved in a fatal crash while driving their vehicle for work. Safety on the road must always be prioritised over profit."

Don't assume that rolling down the window or turning up the radio will cut it in terms of fatigue reduction either, Hill warns. "You can't fight sleep, so if you feel yourself nodding off, you must pull into a safe spot, have a couple of cups of coffee and a 15-minute nap before continuing your journey."

Sleep tips for business drivers

Sleep expert Dr Katharina Lederle compiled the following top sleep tips for drivers as part of the campaign:

-       Identify your personal sleep window - how much sleep do you need and when do you sleep best? Stick to these times on weekdays and weekends

-       Get out in the natural sunlight for about 30 minutes during the earlier part of the day. Getting lunch from the café that is a little further away is where you want to go

-       Having one or two coffees during the morning is ok but cut it out after lunch. Be aware that tea and energy drinks also contain caffeine!

-       During the day, take regular mini-breaks to reduce stress levels. You don't have to wait for the evening to relax

-       In the evening, it is best to switch off your phone, tablet and laptop at least one hour before going to bed. If you really need to use an LED device in the evening, install a blue light filter and lower the brightness to reduce the light input

-       Have a healthy, balanced diet. Keep regular meal times and have something for breakfast, eat lunch and avoid eating late in the evening

-       Exercise regularly, and if done in the evening, allow enough time to wind down

For more information, visit https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/tired-drivers [1].

You can also watch the new campaign video here [2] 

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