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 11th Feb, 2019 by Dominic Benabda
Vehicle cameras and similar technologies make up a large proportion of our business here at Vision Techniques, and in the last six months or so our experts have noticed increasing numbers of questions from our customers on the subject of GDPR. There’s still a lot of confusion about how it affects vehicle cameras and the associated recordings, so that’s what we’re tackling in this week’s post.
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 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 27th Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker
The emergency services are amongst a wide range of industries that we serve here at Vision Techniques, and we’re happy to say that many of our products are universally useful in a variety of emergency situations. For the purposes of brevity we’ve summed up just a few of them in this post, categorising them in terms of how they enhance safety, security and effectiveness.
Using various devices such as vehicle cameras, emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances can effectively extend their ranges of visibility. Their roles require them to reach occasionally awkward locations quickly and discreetly, which means that drivers need to have exceptional awareness of the clearances of their vehicles. Ambulances, for example, will always need to park as close as they feasibly can to the casualty, whereas fire engines need to be well within range of the building to effectively fight the fire. Once the emergency is dealt with, reversing cameras and alarms can help them prevent accidents when they’re emerging out of these tight spots, alerting them to nearby passing pedestrians.
Though it’s not always a common occurrence, emergency vehicles can sometimes be targets for thieves or vandals. For this VT Ident, our Radio Frequency Identification system, is ideal for preventing unauthorised access, helping to guarantee the security of the vehicle. Just as few of the consequences of unauthorised access could involve (in the majority of cases) the theft of expensive or sensitive equipment, or even vandalism. In cases where the vehicle is actually stolen, thieves could speed across public highways with impunity, or write the emergency vehicles off entirely – which could be both costly for the service in addition to being incredibly dangerous.
In addition to helping serve the security purposes we’ve just covered, mobile CCTV in particular is an exceptionally helpful measure for helping many emergency services perform their jobs to a highly effective degree. As we’ve mentioned, it can help drivers maintain unparalleled awareness of the clearances of their vehicle, and for enforcement organisations (like the police), it can actively record instances of dangerous driving or similar crimes in progress, providing valuable evidence for convictions.
Similarly, it helps to ensure that there are no false claims made against the public servants themselves, protecting them from counter-accusations from criminals or even (in extreme cases) crash for cash schemes. When used in concert with these, fleet tracking and GPS tracking software is also a must for many emergency services, as it can help pinpoint the exact distance of individual vehicles from their destination.
This isn’t necessarily comprehensive, but should serve to give you just an idea of how our vehicle safety products can assist the emergency services. If you have any specific questions or if you’d like to place an order, don’t forget that you can always give our sales team a call on 08452 873 170, or for more details you can check our emergency services industry page.
Posted on 13th Oct, 2017 by Ben Earnshaw
We’ve talked about crash for cash schemes a few times before, but just in case you’re not familiar with the term, we’ll bring you up to speed quickly. Sometimes known as an induced accident, crash for cash schemes involve scammers deliberately forcing a crash on unsuspecting motorists – often by suddenly pulling out in front of them – and then making a personal injury claim, usually for whiplash or similar injuries.
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 31st Mar, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Whether it’s an in-cab DVR like VT Record or a driver CCTV system like VT TurnAware, due to their sheer versatility there are numerous benefits that HGVs vehicle cameras can provide. These benefits are many and varied – extending not just to you as a fleet manager, but also to your drivers themselves and other road users at large.
Posted on 6th Feb, 2017 by Jonathan Peach
Heavy Goods Vehicles have been making headlines again recently, and unfortunately it’s not always been in a positive light. A rise in HGV collisions, blockages and other awkward immobilisations on public roads are being attributed to drivers using satnavs that are intended for smaller vehicles. Frequently, these incidents are leading to miles-long tailbacks, making local officials increasingly vocal in demanding a solution.