Research calls for new strategies to reduce pressures on drivers
Experts are warning that employees who drive as part of their roles face constant pressure to keep up with demand which is causing fatigue and a negative impact on their mental and physical health
A major study into driver wellbeing has warned of underlying hardships being faced by workers that have been worsened during the pandemic.
The study reports that workers who drive for a living, including delivery drivers, taxi, and private hire drivers, those in the gig economy, and company car drivers, all face fatigue and stress that could have a negative impact on their mental and physical health.
In response, employers are urged to review strategies and policies to improve health and safety beyond statutory requirements by considering how to address broader employee issues, such as doubts over the economy, job security, redundancy, and reduction in pay due to furlough.
Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, which produced the report, says there is a need for education and guidance on avoiding driver fatigue, including evaluation of policies and procedures in areas such as the length of the driving day and shifts.
Companies also need to consider external factors that could directly affect driver safety, such as depression and sleep problems.
The whitepaper warned: “People long for everything to go back to normal. The problem is, for many drivers normal wasn’t such a good place.”
This is the latest warning about driver mental health, with a recent Mercedes-Benz Vans study of 2,000 van drivers finding 92% were feeling stressed.
Reflex Vehicle Hire has been leading the way in helping customers to protect driver mental health as part of our Welfare of Reflex Drivers programme.
We have pledged support for mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which has launched the CALM Driver campaign to support van and truck drivers suffering from poor mental health.
The Reflex team is distributing special vehicle packs containing guidance for drivers, while some vehicles are also being equipped with stickers that provide details of a telephone helpline and website that drivers can use. The website also has a live chat service.
Reflex services can help our clients to talk more openly with their drivers about health and wellbeing, while our award-winning Driive with Reflex technology, including through fatigue monitoring systems, keeps employees safe on the road.
For more information on how Reflex Vehicle Hire is protecting driver welfare and how it can support drivers’ mental health, contact a member of our expert team.