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Less stress means safer driving

21/01/2020 by Mark Schneider in Safety

Workplace stress or stress in any part of your life is very bad for your health. You’ve probably already heard that it can make you put on weight, cause depression and anxiety, disturb your sleep and even increase the risk of heart disease. But here’s another problem with stress you may not know about – it can increase your risk of having a car crash according to one European study.

The study looked at work-related stress and its impact on unsafe commuting behavior like texting or calling, tailgating, dangerous passing manoeuvres and other bad driving practices. Concerns with work-life balance and a bad boss were the two biggest causes of stress. Apparently, the more you hate the boss, the worse your driving becomes. That bad driving doesn’t just end at the commute to work, either. When you’re under stress you’re more likely to view bad driving as normal and acceptable and to do it at other times when you’re on the road, both at work and away from work.

Stress is distracting. When you’re worrying constantly about your family and life at home, or about the next excruciating encounter with that bully of a boss, then it’s hard to concentrate on your driving. When you’ve been driving for years it may seem like second nature to you, but it never is. It’s a complicated process requiring a great deal of attention as you interact with a constantly changing environment. A lapse of concentration, even for a moment, may prove fatal.

A workplace issue

Understanding the dangers of stress while driving makes stress a health and safety concern at the workplace. So if you own or manage a business, or you’re just someone’s manager in a larger organisation, then workplace culture, and your role in it matters. Taking the pressure down and reducing work-related stress wherever possible is just good business sense and makes for a safer, happier, more productive workplace.

If your business is constantly on the road then setting realistic times for your drivers to reach their destination safely without lead-footed driving can go a long way to reducing stress behind the wheel. Telematics is the key to that. Fleetdynamics advanced GPS technology gives you the real-time information you need to help your drivers get to their destination on-time in our increasingly congested cities, allowing them to adjust to job allocations, priority and to traffic conditions. It really is de-stress tech for you and your drivers.

Take the pressure down

Beyond telematics, however, there are several steps you can take to create a less stressful work environment. Here are a few suggestions:

Encouraging positive relationships at work is important for defusing stress. Likewise, encouraging exercise breaks – even just time-out during the day for a walk – can calm the mind and body.

Prioritising and organising the workload while setting clear objectives with realistic deadlines is vital for reducing stress. Always remember that if everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. Forget multitasking, for most of us that’s just a fancy word for doing a lot of things badly at once.

Comfort is important. When you’re practically living in the chair at work it’s important that it’s comfortable and ergonomic. Sore backs can be very painful and distracting and add to stress, so put some effort into making sure the office furniture is the best it can be.

For many workers who are on the road every day, their vehicle is their “office”, so it makes sense to ensure that “office” is as comfortable, safe and convenient as possible to ensure the work environment is as stress-free as it can be. So, if your business vehicles are getting a little long in the tooth it’s just good business to replace them with a modern vehicle that’s easier to drive and better suited to the job.

If it’s time to upgrade your fleet vehicles, contact Fleetcare today on 134 333 for an obligation-free chat about your business needs. It will boost your bottom line and your drivers will thank you for making their workplace better and less stressful. That’s got to be good for business all-round.

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