It only takes a couple of seconds of not paying attention for a driver to inadvertently take a life while on the road. Whether it is looking at a phone, reaching for something in the cab, or driving while sleepy, it is easy for drivers to be inattentive at just the wrong time. Being behind the wheel can be extremely risky, and your choices can have an impact on the safety of your fleet.
Using Fleet Management to Keep an Eye on Drivers
Fleet management tools allow you to keep an eye on what is happening in and around the vehicle, and this can prevent an accident. Dash cams are relatively inexpensive, and you have a range of options to choose from. Because of how much cameras help truckers, it is worth looking into them. If you are thinking about using these tools, you can review a guide on the different types of dash cams for trucks.
Scheduling the Right Way
It’s a good idea to schedule shifts in a way that allows your employees to rest between each of them. For example, there should be at least 10 hours between back-to-back shifts. This gives enough time for at least eight hours of sleep and some time to unwind before the worker has to be back at the location. You can offer your team information on ways to optimize sleep so that you are supporting their efforts at home as much as in the workplace. You might want to give each team member a predictable schedule, so they have the chance to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. When the schedule is unpredictable, it’s easier for drowsy driving to occur.
Tracking the Attention of Drivers
It’s a good idea to pay attention to your employees’ behavior before they get on the road. Even a bit of awareness of their behavior before they leave can stop drowsy driving. For example, you might have your team keep an eye out on each other before everyone heads out. If someone does not seem that alert or seems extremely tired, you could ask if they have slept well. Depending on how tired the employee seems and whether you are worried about them falling asleep at the wheel, you might need to send the employee home. You could give them an awareness test to determine if this step is necessary.
Use the Buddy System
You should always provide each employee with a backup if necessary. You can use the buddy system in case a driver has lost a lot of sleep, is experiencing insomnia, or has another emergency. And if someone is already on the road but becomes extremely tired or drowsy, they can contact the buddy to take over. This can relieve some of the pressure your employees might feel to be constantly ready to take over. Because of the big danger posed by drowsy driving, it’s important to show compassion to your employees. If you do have a sleep deprived worker, it is most likely caused by factors outside of their control. Smart scheduling and awareness of the situation can prevent these employees from being on the road at the wrong time.