Home Menu Search

Stress and Fatigue

3 July 2020

Evidence available from The Road Safety Observatory highlights that:

  • Driving while fatigued or sleepy leads to impairment of driving performance by increasing reaction times, reducing attention and compromising the driver’s ability to control their vehicle.
  • Sleep-related vehicle accidents are more common on long monotonous roads due to the lack of stimulating scenarios.
  • Fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident resulting in the fatal injury of themselves or their vehicle’s occupants than non-fatigued drivers.

Offering advice for drivers returning to work, expert in fatigue management Dr Paul Jackson says: 'For employers of fleet drivers there are additional safety-related issues to consider. Firstly, drivers may have been off work for 6 weeks or longer, during which they may have adapted to different sleep patterns, engaged in less physical activity as well as eating and drinking differently. For example, drivers may have become accustomed to staying up much later than normal, and getting up later than normal. Returning to work will necessitate a switch back to what were ‘normal’ sleep arrangements before the pandemic began.'  Further advice and guidance is available here.

Stress can affect driving in many ways. It can make you lash out at other drivers or become panicked about the idea of getting in a car altogether. One of the worst times to lose control is when you’re behind the wheel. 

An article available from The National Road Safety Partnership Programme, stresses the responsibility business managers have to protect the health and wellbeing of employees. It highlights how small changes to the way they operate can transform how  drivers react in stressful situations and keep them healthy on the road.

DriverMetrics has published a new guide for fleet managers which addresses the impact of Covid-19 on driver stress.

Written by DriverMetrics Research Director, Dr Lisa Dorn, the guide covers identifying the signs of driver stress during the pandemic;  its effects on crash involvement, and practical advice on supporting drivers at this challenging time.

Related news, events and information

Fatigue and Sleep Apnoea

25 July 2018 – Fatigue is a major contributory cause of crashes. Fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in an...

COVID 19: A Fleet Manager's Guide

28 April 2020 – DriverMetrics has published a new white paper entitled 'COVID 19: A Fleet Manager's Guide'. Authored by...

Time Pressure and Driver Risk

12 March 2020 – Driving for Better Business partner DriverMetrics has published a new white paper addressing Time Pressure and...

Using Telematics to understand individual driver risk

20 June 2019 – Story from DriverMetrics. A challenge with using telematics systems to reduce driver risk is that whilst...

Young drivers don't see dangers of driving tired

17 December 2015 – A study has found that driverrs are more likely to get behind the wheel drowsy than drunk, despite it being...

Bus driver fatigue management to become a London priority

9 September 2019 – Following the commissioning of research into bus driver fatigue Transport for London has mandated that from...

National Highways launches new Fleet Manager Monthly Update online library of resources

12 April 2023 – National Highways has launched a new Fleet Manager Monthly Update online library through its Driving for Better...

How to really change driver behaviour with telematics

11 February 2019 – The combination of telematics data and a behavioural risk profile will give an in-depth understanding of the...

New report from the European Road Safety Observatory: focus on drink driving

16 October 2023 – Drivers who have been drinking are 15 times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than sober drivers....