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Driver 303 Agency – Drivers health

As a professional driver your health and well-being is key to being safe while at work, you need to take this as seriously as driving itself.

Here are Driver 303’s tips and checks:

1. Initial Vehicle Checks – Have you done them?
Doing a daily walk round check is not just to ensure the vehicle is safe for the road; making sure everything works properly also ensures your own safety.
The cab: access, seat position and seat belts, mirrors and all vehicle controls
Wheels & tyres: check for any damage, secure wheel nuts
Also check visibility, load security, brakes, fuel tank, fluids and couplings

2. Sleep – This is so important
Fatigue is a factor in 20{63232214ce08622842e96a50121ca8357e5cb739063579b65f76b545ac40f835} of all road collisions – get as much rest as possible before setting off on any journey.
Lack of sleep will affect your reaction times and how you respond to situations on the road
Don’t drive tired. Take proper rest and breaks, and if you feel tired on the road, pull over
Adhere to Drivers’ Hours Rules – they are there to keep you safe

3. Weather – Keep an eye on it and monitor your days weather forecast
High winds, fog, rain, freezing temperature and bright sunshine can all affect driving conditions, your safety, and that of other road users.
Adjust your driving to meet the conditions on the road – drive at a safe speed
Before you set off, check you have everything you need to stay safe on your journey
Do you know what the weather is likely to be like where you are travelling?

4. Loading Safety – Take care
Manual handling, loading activities and loading bays are all naturally hazardous. Always focus on safety first and remember.
Observe all rules and signage, and be mindful of other vehicles and personnel
Inspect all equipment regularly for wear and tear or damage, both on and off the vehicle. If in doubt, don’t use it, and report it
Check your load is properly positioned, secure, not overweight, and does not impair your vision

5. Speed – Do not ever be tempted to break the speed limit, its set for a real reason
Travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police as a contributory factor in more than 28{63232214ce08622842e96a50121ca8357e5cb739063579b65f76b545ac40f835} of fatal crashes in the UK.
Are you aware of speed limits and stopping distances for the vehicle and the road?
Road safety charity Brake estimates that every 1mph reduction in average speeds lowers crash rates by 5{63232214ce08622842e96a50121ca8357e5cb739063579b65f76b545ac40f835}
Adopt ‘defensive driving’ techniques to reduce speed and fuel consumption – and lower stress

6. Distraction and Stress – Taking measures to chill will help aid stress
A Brake and Direct Line survey of UK drivers found that 71{63232214ce08622842e96a50121ca8357e5cb739063579b65f76b545ac40f835} had lost concentration at the wheel within a 12 month period due to stress or annoyance.
Some distractions are obvious, such as changing the radio
Emotional distractions – running late, having an argument, getting good or bad news – can all affect your reactions
It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. Put it in the glove box so it can’t distract you

7. Accidents & Breakdowns
Accidents and breakdowns can have serious consequences for your safety – whatever happens never put yourself in danger to move the vehicle.
Where possible use the hard shoulder, emergency refuge area or a lay-by, and switch on hazard lights
Exit from the passenger side, away from moving traffic
If your vehicle is blocking a road or you cannot exit safely, call the police immediately with your location

8. Health – Take it seriously
Vital to your safety and well being – and drivers are a recognised ‘at risk’ group.
Have a balanced diet. Limit fast food. Snack on fruit, and stay hydrated with plenty of water
Fitness – proven to be a mood lifter
Take a walk whenever you can & ensure you are active outside of work
Regular Eye Tests – road crashes involving a driver with poor vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties. Look after your sight.

9. Personal Safety – Think of you and other will benefit
HGV drivers can be subject to risks of theft or physical attack, particularly if you are a trunking driver or you have a valuable load. To help keep you safe:
Always remove keys and lock doors when leaving the vehicle
Plan your route ahead and keep all documentation about your load out of sight
Avoid dark, unlit spots when parking, particularly overnight. Use a secure location wherever possible
These tips are a guide only and should not be taken as an authoritative document.

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