HGV Drivers and the Battle Against Fatigue

HGV Drivers and the battle against fatigue is a serious issue. It is a professional drivers worst fear, falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident which could result in a serious injury or even death.

When you are a HGV driver, the risks are further heightened due to the size and weight of your vehicle. Fatigue, or driver tiredness, reduces the ability to recognise hazards, slows down reaction times and impairs judgement and this combination of factors can be lethal. Research shows that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 25% of fatal or serious accidents with around 40% of sleep-related accidents involving commercial vehicles.

Driving while tired is against the law for commercial drivers. The issue driver recruitment agencies face is a way to measure what constitutes a level of fatigue sufficient to keep a driver off the road. Rather than focusing on that, however, the FTA has chosen to focus on education and training. They are reminding drivers about issues that can lead to fatigue; issues such as alcohol consumption, age, general health, medication, and lack of restful sleep.

Small Simple Steps

DWF a British Law Firm created ‘Lorry Lawyer’ in response to a growing online community of drivers and logistics companies who had questions around the laws of road safety. According to Lorry Lawyer there are a number of simple steps HGV drivers can take to help battle fatigue on the road;

Strategy – Organise journey’s to include a 15-minute break every two hours.

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Info – Check weather reports and traffic news for possible delays and incorporate plans to stop for the night if necessary.

Energy – Drivers should not begin journey’s if they are tired, a good night’s sleep is required before embarking on a long journey

Signs – And what a driver should recognise; drowsiness, difficulty focusing, blinking more than normal, yawning, heavy eyelids, rubbing eyes.

Act – If a driver should have any of the above symptoms above a break should be taken somewhere safe, drink a large coffee and take a nap of at least 15 minutes.

At Silver Arrow Specialist Recruitment Agency, we know that enough restful sleep is necessary to maintain road safety. As with the FTA, we also know that tired drivers are likely to know they need sleep but continue fighting it in order to maximise time on the road and to earn more money. At Silver Arrow we want to echo the FTA and promote that our consultants do the best they can to make sure our drivers are getting enough restful sleep prior to beginning work by monitoring driver hours to ensure long hours go unnoticed and that adequate rest is taken.

About Silver Arrow

Silver Arrow is a specialist recruitment agency that focuses on the recruitment and placement of temporary and permanent drivers of all classes. We offer temporary, temporary to permanent or permanent assignments, with a focus on compliance and quality, 24/7 customer service, and a simple streamlined administration and timesheet approval process for our customers.

We specialize in placing our drivers into a range of sectors including general haulage – articulated (LGV CE) and rigid (LGV C) transport, fuel and chemical distribution (Pet. Reg. and ADR), automotive distribution (car and low loader), self-unload (HIAB and truck mounted forklift), and IPAF.

As a group, we are proud to be ISO 9001 accredited and recent winners of the Motor Transport and the Automotive Supply Chain Global Awards. By being built on a strong foundation we are able to deliver a professional, compliant, and cost-effective service to our clients.