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 14th May, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
We’ve covered the steady rise of dashcams before on our blog, and how they’re being increasingly used by everyone from private motorists to larger commercial vehicles. There’s no question that they’re becoming a more popular type of vehicle camera than ever before; their practical advantages are clear when it comes to proving liability in court, saving drivers and fleet managers a lot of time, money and hassle.
Posted on 28th Apr, 2019 by Charlotte Coop
Once a year the Northern Tech Awards shines a light upon the leading technology businesses headquartered in the North of England and Scotland.
Running since 2011 The Northern Tech awards are part of the events portfolio of GP Bullhound, the leading international technology investment bank and provide a unique way of celebrating the innovative technologies and businesses developed in the region,
Posted on 29th Mar, 2019 by Dominic Benabda
You probably don’t need us to tell you that road safety is a massive ongoing issue, not just for us here in the UK, but globally. Recently, the European Commission has taken one of their biggest significant steps recently to try and cut down on road deaths; introducing speed limiting technology for every member state (which, at the moment, includes the UK). So, what’s happening, and how is it going to help?
Posted on 27th Feb, 2019 by Dominic Benabda
It’s fair to say that other road users can underestimate just how difficult driving can be for HGV drivers. One of our recent posts discussed Direct Vision, (link) and why it’s so important. This blog follows neatly on from that, as we discuss the blind spots associated with driving these types of vehicles and why so many drivers and fleet operators find our products so useful.
Posted on 28th Jan, 2019 by Dominic Benabda
We’re at the start of a brand new year, ready to see what the next twelve months brings in new innovations and developments in the road safety and commercial vehicle technologies. As we prepare ourselves, we thought it was worth taking a quick look back through the decades at the milestones that have led us up to this point, and the world’s most influential safety inventions over the years.
Posted on 20th Dec, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Though we’re apparently unlikely to have a white Christmas this year, the winter weather can still create plenty of concern for HGV drivers and fleet managers, especially those in the municipal industry. HGVs are amongst the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road, which means the slippery conditions can quickly create problems, both for other road users and the drivers themselves. Thankfully, we’ve got several options amongst our range of vehicle safety products that have a proven track record of making life easier for drivers and fleet managers, offering increased physical safety and legal protection.
Posted on 30th Jun, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
On June 1st, a lorry had a mind of its own as it rolled into the front of a pub in Ealing without a driver at the wheel. The incident threatened peoples safety and damaged the pub’s propiety, and it called could have been prevented with BrakeSafe.
Posted on 16th May, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Following on from the successful Safety Roadshow 2016, Vision Techniques will be doing more Safety Days in 2017. The first one of 2017 is taking place at the Thruxton Motorsport Centre on 15th June.
Posted on 31st Mar, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
After the success of the Safety Days in 2016, which took place across the UK, Vision Techniques are proud to announce that they will be coming Thruxton Racecourse on 15th June.