Fitness to Drive – your drivers’ mental wellbeing
Driver fatigue, drink driving, drug driving, eyesight and medical conditions – all important aspects of managing your drivers and their fitness to drive. In this blog we focus on mental health and driver wellbeing, an area increasingly highlighted for employers, and one which can most certainly affect your drivers’ fitness to drive.
Mental health – a growing awareness
According to the Driving for Better Business survey, ‘Better Business Resilience’ – which surveyed 150 SME business owners and 150 decision-makers at board level in large enterprises in 2020, 39% of SMEs and 25% of large firms reported that they were concerned about the mental health of their employees.
These concerns were firmly on the corporate agenda 2 years ago. It’s likely there is even more awareness now in the aftermath of the pandemic. With the increasing cost of living and the current economic and social pressures, it’s no wonder some of your employees may be experiencing difficulties. The question is how much that might be affecting their fitness to drive.
Driver mental wellbeing – did you know?
- 56% of van drivers consider themselves overweight.
- 70% of van drivers say work pressures severely impact their ability to drink enough water and have a healthy diet.
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, with 1 man dying every two hours.
Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives – and 75% of all UK suicides are male, like the overwhelming majority of van and truck drivers. Driving alone all day, the stress of battling with the clock, traffic congestion and hectic schedules can compound the difficulties. So what can fleet managers and driver managers do to help?
National Highways’ Driving for Better Business Programme and CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably) launched the CALM Driver initiative driver in 2020 to offer support to employers by providing information they could share with their commercial vehicle drivers.
Employers can share these info packs with their drivers to let them know there’s someone to talk to, every day, if they’re struggling. The packs contain a flyer and stickers to go inside commercial vehicles, making drivers aware of CALM’s free and confidential helpline and webchat for anyone who needs to talk about the issues they are facing.
Van Driver Toolkit – driver wellbeing
In addition, mental health and driver wellbeing is one of 6 modules in our Van Driver Toolkit Fitness to Drive series, and is free to anyone who employs or managers drivers. It includes info cards and videos you can share with your drivers.
Fleet Managers and Transport Managers can also register for our 7 Steps to Better Driver Management programme for free – and access a wealth of other resources to support them meet their responsibilities when it comes to their drivers’ wellbeing and their fitness to drive.