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How to Keep Your Drivers Safe from Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue can endanger your drivers, especially during busy seasons with rush orders and bad weather. If you manage a fleet of drivers or work for a larger carrier company that assigns routes to drivers, making driver fatigue a factor in your decisions can help.

Keep your drivers safer, your insurance rates down, and your business more employee-centered by implementing these changes:

Make it easy for drivers to bring up fatigue.

Some of the hardest routes are also the most lucrative, and lots of drivers worry that if they bring up legitimate safety concerns, they could lose out. Drivers might also think that fatigue is just a one-off occurrence of them being tired or needing an extra cup of coffee. Find ways to educate the drivers about the early signs of driver fatigue, as well as what times of day and after how many miles it tends to set in. Then give them a forum to point out high-risk routes so you can take precautions and mitigate the dangers as much as possible.

Pair up or pattern the routes to break up driver fatigue. 

Different routes have different dangers or factors that make them hard on your drivers. Whenever you can, plan out assignments so the same driver isn't caught on the same icy county roads for several hours or doesn't have to idle at the docks day after day. Varying the routes when you can, especially if they involve high-risk factors like highway hypnosis, low-lit state highway systems, or heavy congestion, is safer for everyone. Also, schedule routes around the predawn hours between two and five a.m.; even though traffic is lower during these hours, everyone is both more tired and more susceptible to driving and loading errors.

Ensure that even isolated routes make compliance easy.

Truckers face more and more crowded truck stops with the recent regulation changes, even if they change their driving routines accordingly. Plan out routes that quickly get them where they need to go while still driving by several truck stops and don wider interstate highways that let them pull over safely. 

Planning out a large system of trucking routes can be challenging, but more and more carriers are centralizing the process. Set up processes now so you can collect data that makes your drivers and your company safer.