On: 23/04/2012 15:55 In: Vehicle Tracking
The Department of Transport has carried out research which shows that driver tiredness is responsible for around a fifth of road accidents. Because of the way that the human body clock works, there are certain times of day when it is natural to feel sleepier. For example, between two and seven in the morning is a period when many preventable crashes happen, especially among younger drivers. The mid-afternoon slump between two and four is also a peak period for accidents resulting from tiredness.
Accidents are often caused through lane drift, unintentionally leaving the road and rear-end shunts. Because the driver is not aware of the looming incident, they often don?t brake. This means that many accidents happen at high speed, resulting in greater impact.
Currently, UK rules allow fifty six hours of driving per week, or ninety hours over two weeks. The maximum daily limit is nine hours, although this can be increased to ten hours twice a week. Drivers must take a break of forty five minutes for every four and a half hours that they are on the road. It is permissible for drivers to stop for at least fifteen minutes during this driving period and to count any breaks towards the total. If this option is taken, the first break must be for fifteen minutes and the second break must be for at least thirty minutes.
In addition to taking regular breaks of a certain length of time, drivers must have a daily rest period of eleven hours. It is acceptable for these to be taken in the stationary vehicle, providing that there are proper sleeping facilities, such as a bunk. There are various flexibilities built into the rules where reduced rest periods can be taken on some days and rest can be split across two periods.
It can be difficult for drivers to remember to stick to these complex rules, so it is important that fleet managers are able to monitor their drivers. As well as providing driver training during induction, it is useful to implement vehicle tracking. This provides real-time information for fleet managers who can monitor driver break adherence and take any necessary remedial action. This helps to ensure driver safety, reduce accidents and protect the company?s reputation.