Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Hardships faced by working drivers exposed by pandemic, IAM Roadsmart reports
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Hardships faced by working drivers exposed by pandemic, IAM Roadsmart reports

Date: 06 May 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Underlying hardships faced by working drivers, that were already prevalent before the Covid-19 pandemic, are now likely to worsen, according to road safety charity IAM Roadsmart.

It has published a new white paper arguing that working drivers, including company car drivers, can face constant pressure to keep up with demands, and that this, along with resultant fatigue, has a negative impact on their mental and physical health.

The paper also names risk factors including weak employer strategies, a lack of policies and prosecution for health and safety lapses, and doubts over the economy, job security, redundancy, and reduction in pay due to furlough. 

IAM Roadsmart has therefore called for urgent changes to be made to support working drivers, through solutions such as driver training, policies, advice, and procedures.

These include education and guidance on avoiding driver fatigue, and an evaluation of policies and procedures such as the length of the driving day and shifts.

IAM Roadsmart chief executive officer Tony Greenidge said: "What Covid did was expose what in many cases was already there.

"Individuals involved in driving for work were already rushed and under pressure. Post-Covid they probably will be more so because there's more fear about job security and more pressure on employers to recover lost ground. But at least now we are discussing it."

IAM Roadsmart also wants to see increased prosecution of liable companies, especially SMEs, as one-third of road safety deaths are people driving for business.

It has also called for a review of the resources available to drivers, such as motorway services and roadside facilities, as many drivers are deterred from stopping for essential rest due to prices.

Greenidge added: "People long for everything to go back to normal. The problem is, for many drivers normal wasn't such a good place.

"The facts cannot be ignored and now is the time for CEOs and leaders to act. Covid-19 has significantly impacted an area already under immense strain. Drivers' and riders' safety cannot continue to slip through the net unnoticed."