Freight Transport Tips – Road Safety, Preventing Driver Fatigue.

Being a delivery driver is one of the best jobs in the world – according to many people! Life on the road can be fun and exciting, with each new day and each new trip bringing a new adventure.

However, constantly being on the road also has its risks, especially when you’re a freight transport driver, as it often means long-distance jobs. It also may involve carrying specialised, sometimes perishable, items, which translates to tight timetables and immoveable deadlines. This means long hours dealing not only with the risks of the road itself, but also those specific to long-distance driving, such as driver fatigue.

According to various road safety organisations such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and, among others, driver fatigue is one of the most critical issues in transportation, and may in fact be a contributing factor in approximately 25% of all vehicular accidents. Freight transport workers are especially susceptible to driver fatigue because of long hours spent on the open road; its effects can be especially common as drivers generally have a strict deadline and drive heavier vehicles on high-speed areas and highways. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent driver fatigue and help keep yourself, and others, safe on the road.

Plan Your Trip

Good planning is a must for every transport worker. It is even more crucial for the freight transport driver because of mandatory check-ins and deadlines. Your plan should consider, not only mileage, but also variables such as road type, hazards, traffic trends and destinations, possible delays and side trips, and alternative routes. Having a backup plan is also important so you will not feel pressured to rush in the event of a delay.

Schedule Your Breaks

The dangers of driving when you’re overly tired are well known: delayed reaction time, impaired judgement, blurred eyesight, and even loss of consciousness. Regular breaks when driving long distance is not only a good idea, it’s actually the law. Oftentimes, though, drivers take breaks when they are already feeling tired – this is a mistake as you may actually be more fatigued than you think. Scheduling your breaks every couple of hours, even for just a cup of coffee, a short nap, or a bit of stretching, can help you stay alert and in peak driving condition. A snack can also revive energy levels, but make sure to keep it light, as a heavy meal can backfire and actually make you feel sleepy. Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before a job and not to go beyond the recommended number of driving hours. If your delivery is a rush job, having a second driver and working in shifts is a great way to time.

Don’t Take On Too Much

A great way for freight transport drivers to maximise earnings is to take on return loads. However, it is important not to just turn around and make your return trip without having a proper rest and meal. Don’t forget that your vehicle also made that haul with you and it deserves a rest and some TLC before making the trip back.

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