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It is a professional driver’s worst nightmare: falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident resulting in serious injuries or deaths. As a leading provider of HGV training in Renfrewshire and all of the UK, we know all too well about the dangers of driving an HGV or PCV when one is fatigued. The risks are further heightened by the size and weight of the vehicles in question.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is also aware of the risks posed to the public by driver fatigue. According to the FTA, one of the most frequently asked questions that the organisation’s Member Advice Centre gets is how to advise drivers about issues of fatigue. This has led them to begin a campaign of reminding operators of the issues surrounding driver fatigue.

Driving while tired is against the law for commercial drivers. The problem is one of coming up with 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, lack of restful sleep, and so forth.

The FTA is addressing operators by reminding them of their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act. That legislation requires employers to apply the same standard of health and safety in the workplace to a driver’s work on the road. They must do everything in their power to maintain a safe working environment at all times. Doing so includes proper efforts to make sure drivers are not operating vehicles when fatigued.

Rest Equals Safety

The HGV Training Centre includes in our training classes time spent on the topics of fatigue and restful sleep. 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. Such a scenario is a dangerous one that could lead to a potentially fatal accident.

We want to echo the FTA in reminding operators to do the best they can to make sure their drivers are getting enough restful sleep prior to beginning work. If a driver does report to work fatigued, that individual should not be allowed to drive. Sending a driver home to get more sleep is the right thing to do even if it costs the company a few loads.

The HGV Training Centre offers HGV training in Renfrewshire as part of a system that includes more than 45 training facilities in convenient locations throughout the UK. We train individual drivers looking to break into the industry as well as company drivers who need remedial training or updated CPC driver training. Whatever your training needs, we have a class that is right for you.

Sources:

  1. Fleet News UK – http://www.commercialfleet.org/fleet-management/safety/driver-fatigue

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