13% of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel, driver behaviour can cause dangerous and serious accidents. More than 3.5 million Goods Vehicles travel between the UK and Europe each year, 13% of these drivers may be falling asleep at the wheel. A further 37% say they are scared they may fall asleep due to extreme levels of tiredness.

This was the case for Michael Hughes, he fell asleep driving a delivery lorry on the M62. After crashing through the central reservation, his lorry continued to drive against oncoming traffic causing a two-car impact. The footage of the incident, taken from his Dash-Cam, shows cars desperately changing lanes to avoid the oncoming HGV. Hughes had ignored feelings of tiredness and the chance to stop at a service station, deciding to press on and keep to his schedule.

The Effect of Driver Behaviour

Luckily for Hughes, his actions did not critically injure anyone. A van driver sustained back and neck injuries due to swerving and almost colliding with the oncoming HGV. Hughes is in jail for 9 months and will not drive an HGV again.

It could have been much worse for Mr Hughes. Road Casualty statistics show sleepy driving contributed to 53 fatal and 351 serious crashes in 2017. However, these figures underestimate the problem due to under-reporting. With nearly 40% of drivers believing they may have fallen asleep at the wheel – how many fatal accidents do you think have been narrowly avoided?

Can Telematics Improve Driver Behaviour?

Professional drivers of goods and passenger road vehicles must comply with the UK and EU Drivers’ Hours Rules, maintain log books, record hours of work, rest and ensure medical assessments are up-to-date as required. Telematic solutions can show how long a vehicle has been driving and any breaks the driver has taken. Moreover, Telematics helps fleet operators improve driver behaviour by planning routes with breaks and geo-fencing vehicles to eliminate unauthorised usage outside of contracted hours.

In addition to reducing driving hours and scheduling proper break patterns to reduce the frightening number of drowsy drivers. Here is our list of ways you can make sure your drivers are safe behind the wheel:

  1. Monitor driving hours properly using Fleet Tracking and Telematics
  2. Reduce the burden on drivers by allocating their schedule appropriately, with breaks
  3. Adjust schedules on the move when traffic becomes an unavoidable issue
  4. Use technology, such as Lane Drift Warnings, to create a safety net

We take pride in helping fleet operators. Our AdvancedFleet solutions are important to improve driver behaviour and reduce fleet costs. Furthermore, if you’d like to learn more about our tracking and Telematic solutions then check out our AdvancedFleet Solutions here.