5 Tips for Keeping chauffeurs Awake & Alert

photo credit: dolgachov/Bigstock.com

photo credit: dolgachov/Bigstock.com

Driver fatigue is one of the biggest threats to the safety of your chauffeurs and the people they’re driving. It’s also one of the biggest threats to your business because safety is paramount and it’s your company’s responsibility to keep chauffeurs and clients safe.

Here are a few ways to reduce driver fatigue and keep your chauffeurs functioning at their best.

1. Encourage a Full Night of Sleep Before a Long Shift

Chauffeurs may fail to get a full night of sleep before embarking on a long shift, especially those that them to drive at night when their natural sleeping patterns are kicking in with a vengeance. Human adults require at least 7-9 hours of quality, restful sleep to function at their optimal level, yet very few professional adults report being able to get this amount of quality sleep on a regular basis.

The first step to ensuring your chauffeurs know the importance of sleep is to inform them. Make sure they’re aware of the negative side effects of going without sleep when they have long trips ahead of them.

2. Awareness of the Signs of Fatigue

Many of your chauffeurs might regularly suffer the signs of fatigue without realizing it. Making sure they’re aware of the patterns of fatigue that generally occur in the human body might help them pinpoint their own signs of fatigue and better deal with the oncoming distractions that might accompany it.

Common signs of fatigue include, but are not limited to, a constant need to yawn, watery, irritated or sore eyes, inability to regulate vehicle speed, and delayed reaction time.

3. Temperature Control

It’s common knowledge that keeping the temperature in a vehicle too warm can  increase the feeling of fatigue or drowsiness, which might even cause a chauffeur to doze off at the wheel. Driving during the winter can cause a chauffeur to crank up the heat in a bus so the passengers are adequately warm. This can create an undue sensation of sleepiness for an already-fatigued chauffeur, however. One way to combat this is by equipping chauffeurs with a handheld fan that can be mounted somewhere near the dash, so if the drowsiness brought on by warmth becomes too much, they can circulate some cool air around their faces.

4. Minimize Eyestrain

Eye fatigue is one of the most uncomfortable and dangerous problems a chauffeur can face during a trip. The eyes are among the most vital assets to a chauffeur’s abilities, and eyestrain can create several annoying and detrimental problems in a chauffeur’s ability to focus, see clearly and drive effectively.

Lack of sleep can irritate eyes that are already being strained by a constant focus on the road. Your chauffeurs can also experience blurred vision and sensitivity to light, which makes oncoming headlights excruciating and blinding.

Again, encouraging your chauffeurs to get a full night’s sleep before a trip is the easiest way to fight oncoming eye fatigue. Eye drops are another great way to keep the eyes moist and clear during a long trip.

5. Avoid Big Meals

Everyone knows that drinking coffee can help temporarily increase alertness and reduce the signs of fatigue. But what some chauffeurs may not know is the importance of avoiding large, hearty meals before long trips. Carb-filled meals can cause an especially potent drowsiness to occur once your body begins to digest the foods. You’ve heard the term “food coma”, haven’t you?

Encourage your chauffeurs to eat naturally energizing foods before and during their trip, such as yogurt or peanut butter. Battling drowsiness at its foundations is a great way to ensure your chauffeurs are alert and focused throughout each and every trip.
Fatigue is a problem that the majority of your bus chauffeurs will face as they complete more and more trips for company, especially when those trips take place at night. Encouraging awareness and education on the causes of fatigue and ways to prevent it is vital to your chauffeurs’ and customers’ health and safety.

Driver fatigue is one of the biggest threats to the safety of your chauffeurs and the people they’re driving. It’s also one of the biggest threats to your business because safety is paramount and it’s your company’s responsibility to keep chauffeurs and clients safe.
Here are a few ways to reduce driver fatigue and keep your chauffeurs functioning at their best.

Grech Motors is a high-end coachbuilder founded by Ed Grech, who currently serves as President and CEO.