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Commercial drivers breaching guidelines on fatigue

One in four (25%) UK commercial drivers are failing to take appropriate rest breaks, putting the onus on operators to ensure drivers are not breaching guidelines.

A quarter of commercial drivers in the UK are breaching the law when it comes to rest and fatigue.

A quarter of commercial drivers in the UK are breaching the law when it comes to rest and fatigue.

Although commercial drivers in the UK are required to take a rest break of at least 45 minutes after a maximum four hours and 30 minutes of driving time, the research by Verizon Connect found a quarter of fleet managers admitted that their drivers on average take breaks after five hours or more.

Two-thirds of fleet managers (66%) have systems in place to help ensure their drivers take required breaks. However, 16% of them leave it at each driver’s discretion to take appropriate rest, 15% ask their drivers about their breaks and 3% do not know.

The study also asked fleets. When asked about the top issues that worry them, 24% cited compliance, 23 percent said unsafe driving practices and 13% of fleet managers said drivers not taking rest.

The research also found that nearly half (46%) of fleet managers use a tachograph to automatically record vehicle speed and distance and to keep track of their drivers’ rest periods. On average, fleet managers said they spend more than three hours a week correcting and following up on drivers’ tachograph mistakes – when asked how they would prefer to spend this time instead, looking for ways to reduce costs was the most popular response with 39%.

And although fleet managers must also keep tachograph data on record for no fewer than 12 months, over a third (31%) admit non-compliance by failing to download driver data every 28 days while 29% said they were storing the data for less time than they are supposed to.

Derek Bryan, vice president, EMEA, Verizon Connect, highlighted how integrating tachograph data with their fleet management system, can enable organisations of any size to improve driver safety, compliance, and productivity

“In doing so, managers reclaim time to focus on growing and improving the business,” he explained.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.