New Study on Drowsy Driving Puts Fleet Managers on Notice


A new study conducted by Brake, a road safety charity, has revealed some frightening statistics about drivers falling asleep behind the wheel, and has put employers and fleet managers on high alert about the need to make sure that they aren’t pushing their drivers beyond their physical limits.

The study was done in response to over 300 deaths each year on UK roads that are attributed to driving while tired. The results showed that 45% of male drivers admit to having nodded off for periods of up to thirty seconds while they were driving, with one in three drivers overall admitting that they have caught themselves with their heads nodding behind the wheel. The majority of the drivers that admitted to having fallen asleep were men, and almost half of all drivers surveyed acknowledged that they have driven with less than five hours of sleep behind them – a statistic that should be particularly alarming for fleet managers whose drivers are behind the wheels of commercial vans with their company’s logo emblazoned on the side.

The safety charity is dedicated to raising awareness of this alarming statistic, especially because as more and more businesses put increasingly high demands on their drivers to meet productivity goals, more commercial van drivers are driving without having had enough rest.

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), another road safety charity, has also weighed in on the statistics, advising that drivers who feel themselves nodding off pull over immediately, as ignoring indications of drowsiness can lead to potentially deadly accidents. IAM’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Employers also need to be aware that setting unachievable deadlines that encourage their employees to drive when they are tired is a very bad practice.”