What Can Driver’s Do For Their Wellbeing and Mental Health?

What Can Driver’s Do For Their Wellbeing and Mental Health?

 

Fleets are being encouraged to focus on driver wellbeing and mental health.

Pressure on the transportation industry is set to increase over the festive period as the shortfall in HGV drivers is estimated to reach 100,000.
A recent survey by Haulage Exchange found that 50% of fleets have seen an increase in driver stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Research from the charity Mind showed that 30% of self-reported work-related illnesses in the transport and logistics industry are due to mental health.
They found that some of the reasons behind this figure could be:

  • Shift working patterns
  • Social isolation
  • Seasonal affective disorder during cold

For some female drivers, being in a male-dominated industry can also become an issue.
Many drivers hide their mental health issues because of the stigma surrounding it.

 

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Fleet managers are being urged to support their staff so that these issues can be managed and prevented.

Head of sales at Transport Exchange Group, Luke Davies said:

“If the right help isn’t available for drivers, some elements of the job can become stressful. With the national shortage of drivers we’ve currently got, it’s more important than ever to retain drivers. Safeguarding their mental health is one way to make them feel valued and improve their working environment.”

 

Professional Advice

Mental Health Professionals, Claire Lyons and Hansa Pankhania have given fleet operators a list of top tips to help improve their drivers’ mental health and wellbeing.

1. Find ways to stay active

A great way to relieve stress is through exercise. Where that’s a calming muscle relaxation exercise or fitting a walk into your day, exercise can help get rid of the chemicals in our bodies that cause stress.

Pankhania said:

“Find places to park where you can go for a brisk walk or run, or engage in stretching exercises.

 

2. Laugh

The life of long haul journeys can be lonely. So spending just 5 minutes focusing on something that makes you laugh or smile can make a huge difference.

Lyons said:

“One brilliant stress release is to laugh. Add a few downloads of your favourite comedian, get an audiobook, meet up with that friend who always makes you laugh.”

 

3. Get enough sleep

Allowing your body to fully recharge can make all the difference to your outlook. Not getting enough sleep can turn minor annoyances into bigger issues. We tend to be less focused when we’re tired, which is not ideal for driving safely.

Lyons said:

“One of the quickest ways to identify stress is a change in sleep patterns. This is also likely if you are working longer hours. Getting high-quality sleep, so that you are rested and alert, is essential for you to remain safe while driving.”

 

4. Keep your space clean

The old phrase “tidy space tidy mind” isn’t entirely untrue. Many drivers feel better when their working space is clean and tidy.

Pankhania said:

“Keep your vehicle clutter-free and fresh. You can also create a calm environment by adding images that you find soothing such as trees, oceans or wildlife.”

 

5. Share your feelings

Letting things build-up is not a healthy way of coping with our emotions. Talking about what’s on your mind can help you process those feeling and move on.
With HGV drivers spending the majority of their time alone, it is even more important to communicate how you are feeling with others.
Pankhania said:

“Open up about any issues that are bothering you instead of struggling to make sense of these yourself. Talking is cathartic and will highlight options for moving forward with your problems.”

 

How can we help?

At Cambrian Fuel Cards Services, we believe the well-being and mental health of your driver is important.
Our range of fuel cards offers access to well lit, secure locations with welcoming facilities. Free Wi-Fi allows them to check in with loved ones while away from home. With access to everything they need, this one-stop gives drivers the chance to recharge their batteries before heading back out on the road.
Our cutting edge telematics solutions can also help look after your driver’s wellbeing. With live tracking data and multi-camera solutions, your drivers know that their safety is prioritized at all times.

 

 

 

What Can Driver’s Do For Their Wellbeing and Mental Health?