29 Nov Jingle Safely Home: Ensuring Fleet Safety During the Holidays
As we lead into Christmas, the silly season, the roads are at their busiest, and as history shows, is the most dangerous period for Australian motorists. In fact, during the month of October 2023, Optix recorded a 45% increase in risky driving behaviours, compared to the same time the year prior.
Add the heightened pressure to deliver before Christmas and new year deadlines, with many workers from various industries spread thin across competing priorities, and risks are heightened even more.
As a fleet manager or driver, it’s your responsibility to be aware and prepared for the holiday season. Which is why you’ve landed here, and are taking the necessary steps toward a safer Christmas for all. Well done.
Read on to learn more about the key safety concerns over the holidays, and how you can protect yourself, your fleet and every other motorist on the road.
Major road safety concerns during the holidays
Sleepiness and driving is a dangerous combination and can be just as fatal as drink driving. Just like alcohol, sleepiness slows driver reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgement, increasing the risk of a serious incident.
To ensure you’re able to function safely, aim to take a break after every two hours of driving and make sure to allow time to get a decent sleep at a similar time every night.
Being distracted for just 4-5 seconds at 100km/h means driving blind for the length of a football field. When we consider how much could go wrong in this time, the most devastating outcome is not the collision itself but the potential of a driver fatally or seriously injuring themselves or someone else on the road.
Distraction can lead to impaired reaction time, decreased performance and vigilance, and increased likelihood of a serious collision. According to Optix (2022) data, the most prevalent distractions that resulted in near collisions recorded were eating and drinking, inattention (looking elsewhere), and mobile phone use.
To combat distraction, ensure mobile phones are switched to do not disturb, stop for food and drink breaks, and pull over if you’re ever unsure.
3. Rushing / Speeding
In times of heightened holiday traffic, patience is crucial. Resist the temptation to speed in an attempt to make up for lost time. The potential risks far outweigh any perceived benefits.
Rushing to your destination not only elevates the likelihood of a serious accident but also exposes you to the risk of incurring a substantial fine.
Make sure that you allow for added time, and never forget the irreparable consequences of speeding.
4. General ‘silliness’ and poor decision-making
Unfortunately, with more general motorists on the road during the Christmas holidays, the more general silliness we see. Taking a defensive approach to driving is the best way to stay safe, even when others are not.
It’s important that you and your fleet become familiar with the six defensive driving tips for truck drivers.
How to ensure safety within your fleet this festive season
DriveAlert+ is a driver fatigue monitoring system and early warning solution that actively tracks eyes, facial features and movement, using artificial intelligence, to detect fatigue and distracted driving behaviours.
Acting as a second set of eyes in the cab, DriveAlert+ AI technology helps your drivers to avoid incidents by recognising, predicting and alerting them of risky behaviours to help them become more engaged on the road.
With seamless integration capabilities and industry-leading technology backed by a team of road safety experts, no other driver safety solution protects Australian roads like Optix.