By Kevin Green, FTA’s Executive Sponsor for the Van Sector
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the UK, health has become a primary focus for employers and employees alike. As individuals, we should always seek to maintain good health; below we outline some best practices for drivers to follow.
Hygiene is vital to controlling the spread of germs. It is therefore necessary to wash your hands regularly; either between deliveries, or, if delivering to a business you could always ask if you could use their facilities.
Germs also live on surfaces in your vehicle(s). A 2016 study by a US travel website revealed that, on average, petrol pumps have 11,835 times more germs than a public toilet seat. After touching the petrol pump, most drivers then return to their vehicle and continue to touch items in that vehicle. Think about the amount of times you touch your steering wheel in a day, or place food on your dash. How often do you clean and disinfect your vehicle?
DIET AND HYDRATION
A survey by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK found that 70 per cent of van drivers feel that work pressures severely restrict their ability to stay hydrated and stick to a healthy diet; dehydration and poor nutrition have been proven to impact driver performance.
Simple tricks like swapping fizzy drinks for water and preparing lunch in advance so it is less tempting to grab something unhealthy on the go can make a big difference.
Tiredness impairs driving performance by reducing reaction time, alertness and concentration. Ultimately, driving tired increases the chance of a collision, so drivers must take steps to prioritise rest. Here are six measure drivers can employ to reduce the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel:
- Obtain adequate sleep before a journey
- Avoid driving in the early morning
- Take a nap before a journey
- Change drivers (providing the new driver is alert)
- Drink a caffeinated drink and immediately take a 15 to 20-minute nap
- Pull over to a roadside hotel to sleep
For more information on Van Excellence please visit http://www.vanexcellence.co.uk/