The Importance of Taking Breaks while Driving for Work

If you drive for work, it’s vital to take breaks throughout the day. Even if you don’t feel tired, taking breaks can help you stay alert and focused, and can reduce your risk of getting into an accident.

There are a number of reasons why taking breaks while driving for work is important. Outlined below are a few of the most important.  

  • Fatigue: Fatigue is a major factor in traffic accidents. According to recent statistics in the US, driver tiredness is a contributing factor in about 100,000 crashes each year, resulting in about 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. 
  • Distractions: When you’re driving for long periods of time, it’s easy to get distracted. This can result from speaking on the phone to eating to listening to music. Distractions can take your attention away from the road, which can contribute to accidents. 
  • Muscle tension: Sitting in the same position for extended periods of time can cause muscle tension and pain. This may make it difficult to stay alert and focused on the road ahead. 
  • Stress: Driving for work can be stressful. The stress of being on the road can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Taking breaks can help you to relax and rejuvenate. 

It is recommended that you take a break after every two hours of driving. This break should be at least fifteen minutes long. During the break, you should get out of your car and move around. You can stretch, walk, or do some other light activity.

If you’re feeling tired, you should take a break even before the two hours has passed. If you’re feeling drowsy, you should pull over to a safe place at the side of the road and take a nap if it is safe to do so. 

Ideas of what you can do during your break: 

  • Get out of your car and stretch. 
  • Walk around for a few minutes. 
  • Do some deep breathing exercises. 
  • Drink some water or coffee. 
  • Eat a healthy snack. 
  • Listen to music or an audiobook. 
  • Call a friend or family member. 
  • Take a nap. 

Tips for making sure you take breaks while driving for work:

  • Set a timer for yourself. This will help you to remember to take a break every 2 hours. 
  • Find a rest stop or other safe place to pull over. 
  • Pack a healthy snack and some water to drink. 
  • Bring a book or magazine to read during your break. 
  • If you’re driving with someone else, take turns driving so that you can both take breaks. 

Taking breaks while driving for work is important for your safety and for your health. By making sure to take breaks every two hours, you can help to reduce your risk of getting into an accident and can improve your overall well-being.

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on Driving for Work 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment template covering Driving for Work 
  • Management system to document control the policy on Driving for Work 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on Driving for Work 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving driving both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding driving as part of their job to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 

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