Posted on 22nd Jul, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Rising temperatures can be more dangerous than many employers give them credit for, with distracted driving and drowsiness being amongst the key hazards.
While temperatures aren’t soaring to quite the level of last year’s heatwave, it’s still important not to underestimate the effects of heat on your workforce.
Here are some of the biggest dangers that heat can pose to your workforce – as well as some of our suggestions for how vehicle safety technology can help.
As the summer months kick in and temperatures and humidity levels rise
many workers can find that they get easily fatigued, especially if they’re not properly hydrated. Research also showed that a reduction of just 2% of hydration can mean a 20% loss of concentration.
The types of drivers most at risk are:
HGV drivers or van drivers who may not want to stop because they’re on a schedule
Holiday makers on long journeys (including their passengers, if the sun shines directly on them)
Taxi and bus drivers who may not be able to leave their vehicles frequently
Driving instructors who are travelling to and from appointments and are with clients during much of the day
Motorcycle and scooter riders in full protective gear
Forklift drivers in busy warehouses
Farmers and agricultural workers working in fields on open tractors, on quad bikes or motorbikes, or in tractors without air conditioning
Symptoms of dehydration
As above, this is not ideal for productivity at the best of times, but if distractedness affects the employees responsible for the largest, heaviest vehicles on UK roads, the consequences can be substantial and dangerous.
Simple mistakes can have huge repercussions; for example, just forgetting to check the mirrors before making a left turn can increase the risk of a collision with other vulnerable road users like cyclists.
Forgetting to put on the handbrake, meanwhile (another common mistake for many drivers), can result in devastating vehicle rollaways.
Being distracted and loss of concentration when reversing can result in collisions damaging vehicles, property or causing injury to people.
A range of vehicle safety technology we stock here at Vision Techniques can help mitigate these risks. Our cyclist detection systems can provide audible and visual warnings that preclude any neglect to check the mirrors, while our Brakesafe system goes one step further, by automatically applying the handbrake should the driver forget. Our multi award-winning Banksman uses FMCW technology to detect obstacles, warn the driver and stop the vehicle, eradicating the risk of collisions.
In tests conducted by Loughborough University back in 2015 it was found that people who were dehydrated and driving committed the same number of errors as those that had drank a couple of alcoholic drinks
Symptoms of dehydration manifest in different ways as dehydration progresses, the ability to control a vehicle decreases. If you don’t treat your dehydration at this more advanced stage, the next stage could see low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and breathing, fever symptoms, irritability and confusion, Medically known as heat syncope, the cause can be traced to blood vessels under the skin, which dilate to increase heat circulation in an attempt to radiate excess body heat. In the worst cases, this can reduce the blood supply to the brain, causing delirium and eventually loss of consciousness.
In instances where the driver becomes incapacitated we have developed our StopSafe system, an invaluable way for crew-members to bring the vehicle to a safe, controlled halt in the event that the driver does lose consciousness or if they are suddenly taken ill. This is the only system on the market to be approved by the VCA.
Jane Holdsworth, Director of the European Hydration Institute (EHI), said “Anecdotal evidence suggests that many drivers avoid drinking on long journeys to minimise bathroom stops, yet we know that even mild hydration can cause symptoms such as headache, tiredness and lethargy. Driver error is by far the largest cause of road traffic accidents.”
It’s important to promote safer working practices with your employees. Here are a few simple ways to stay sharp:
If an employee suffers from an episode, in most cases oral fluids, relief from the heat and rest will be sufficient. However, it’s always best to seek professional medical advice before they return to work, especially if they’re planning on driving. In these cases, it’s important to consider again whether your vehicles are outfitted with Stopsafe technology, and how they can prevent the consequences.
Fleet managers can also employ telematics systems to great effect, to ensure that journeys are planned efficiently, drivers are keeping to their rest schedules, and taking appropriate breaks.
Here at Vision Techniques, we have a range of vehicle safety technology to enhance the safety of your fleet all year round, and serve a number of industries. If you’ve got any questions about any of our products, members of our friendly sales team are always here to lend a hand – why not give us a call on 01254 679 717, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!
Posted on 2nd Jul, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Advancements in vehicle safety technology and vehicle safety products in recent years have resulted in great strides forward for the haulage industry. However, modern fleet managers still face a number of significant challenges to their business, ranging from efficiency and economics concerns to crucial safety issues. The good news, though, is that there are several measures they can take to mitigate these issues – we’ve listed some of the key ones below!
Posted on 2nd Oct, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
It’s an unenviable title that – of course – has been awarded to various stretches of roads over the years. It’s always been the subject of numerous studies from various organisations concerned with vehicle safety, and throughout all of the most recent of these studies, there are certain areas which are, unfortunately, highlighted as being consistently dangerous to navigate for motorcyclists, HGVs and regular road users alike.
Posted on 26th Jul, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
On the whole, many would think that summer is the one time of year where visibility on the roads wouldn’t be an issue. That’s certainly true in one sense, but it’s not quite that simple! The darkness and wetness of winter is indeed where it can get really dangerous, but summer brings with it its own set of unique hazards, too. This week here at Vision Techniques, we explain more about these hazards, and what you can do to avoid them!
Posted on 20th Jun, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
The relationship between HGV drivers and cyclists is famously fraught, so it’s fair to say that it’s relatively rare to find a positive news story about any interactions. Happily, a recent story involving four year-old Rhonda Jones has broken with that pattern, garnering a fantastic reaction amongst the general public in just a matter of hours. In this case, the driver’s brilliant sense of vehicle safety was rewarded by an enthusiastic reaction, helping to explain the clip’s extraordinary popularity!
Posted on 22nd May, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Despite making up only a relatively small proportion of road traffic, HGVs are regularly involved in some of the most serious accidents on Britain’s roads. And although there are certain accidents which will always be unavoidable, happily for fleet managers and the drivers themselves, there are some excellent precautions they can take to cut down on the likelihood and severity of road accidents. This week on the blog, we’re looking at three of the most common causes of HGV accidents, and how what you can do to prevent them.
Posted on 12th Dec, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
HGVs and cyclists have a difficult relationship at the best of times. One is fast, large and potentially deadly, while the other is small, slow and intensely vulnerable – not to mention often being difficult to see. Winter brings these frequent truths into even harsher reality, as shorter and darker days make it even more difficult for HGV drivers to see and account for cyclists. This week on the blog here at Vision Techniques, we have a few suggestions on how to make things easier – and how our cyclist safety products can help.
Posted on 10th May, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
The HGV industry has been in the spotlight again in recent weeks, this time in the context of cyclist safety. This is largely due to a video posted by a disgruntled cyclist involving a Sainsbury’s HGV. It’s drawn a vast number of differing opinions, prompting a national discussion about correct driving procedure for HGVs (and even motorists at large).
Posted on 4th Apr, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Vision Techniques will be attending the CV Show again this year and for the first time ever will have a vehicle on stand demonstrating all of their systems. They will be on stand 4H76 with BrakeSafe, TurnAware, and VT Record being highlighted this year.
Posted on 16th Mar, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Once again Vision Techniques attended the CLOCS show at the Excel, London. The event took place on the 14th March 2017, with cyclist safety systems and the new rollaway prevention system BrakeSafe being highlighted.