Beating the Black Friday blues for drivers

22nd November 2018

Your customers are eagerly waiting to participate in the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The challenge for your company isn’t focused on a system crash or a payment failure. It’s the delivery problems that come after the purchases have been made.

For your drivers, it could be a blue weekend filled with time-pressure and time-anxiety; and adding to this pressure mix, are other drivers on the road looking for bargains in the shops and congesting the road.

These events will create stress.

Stress affects us all at one time or another – whether it’s down to work, home life or a tough situation you’re facing. Stress can affect how we feel physically and emotionally as well as impair our judgement and our reactions, which isn’t good news when we need to concentrate on something significant, like driving and delivering packages.

It’s important your drivers recognise how they feel and try to relax before getting in the vehicle. Ben, an independent charity which provides support for life to the people of the automotive industry, provided us with some signs on how to recognise stress.

Black Friday stress

Warning signs of stress 
First of all, we need to recognise the warning signs of stress. You might feel some or all of these:

  • Becoming easily irritated with colleagues, friends or family
  • Feeling distracted, forgetful or moody
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Not being able to ‘switch off’
  • Becoming quiet and withdrawn
  • Under or overeating
  • Smoking more, drinking more alcohol or taking drugs
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Not sleeping well / insomnia
  • Getting ill more often

Here are a few tips to do before you get in the vehicle stressed: 

  • Go for a short walk around the block to get some fresh air and unwind from the stresses of the day
  • Wait until you feel calm, collected and well enough to head out on your journey. Driving itself can be stressful, especially in rush hour, so if you are already stressed this is likely to make matters worse
  • Try mindfulness and deep breathing before getting behind the wheel. You don’t have to be spiritual to benefit from mindfulness and meditation – anyone can meditate and it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety
  • If you’re feeling ill from stress with headaches or sickness, make sure you feel well enough before you drive. Drink plenty of water and get some fresh air
  • Write down a list of the things that are stressing you out and set yourself some time to tackle them later on – sometimes writing your worries down and making time to sort them out helps clear your mind
  • Is stress causing you to struggle with addiction to alcohol, drugs or nicotine? Be aware that these could still be in your system before driving. If you’re struggling with addiction or substance misuse, then it’s important to seek help
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress then make sure you aren’t too tired to drive. IAM RoadSmart advises if you feel sleepy whilst behind the wheel, find a safe place to pull over and stop – not on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related so don’t drive if you feel sleepy
  • Tell someone you trust how you feel. Sometimes opening up about our problems to loved ones can make all the difference and they can even help you find solutions. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved

Black Friday stress

If you feel these tips are a little too soft and fancy, and don’t really apply to your organisation, then take heed of this warning from Neil Greig, director of policy and research of IAM RoadSmart, who said: “If a company forces someone to drive too many hours in the day, and there was a crash resulting in a fatality, a prosecution according to the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act would help send a message to businesses that a lot more care needs to be taken in this area.”

Help is at hand, to support you in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles and find the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it, My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the right vehicle insurance, telematics system and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

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