Fitness to drive

13 February 2023

Drivers are exposed to a multitude of occupational health risks and have higher than average rates of obesity, diabetes and blood pressure. Their shifts can be long, sedentary and unsociable. Tight schedules, other road users and security threats also contribute to psychological stress. There may be the occasional medical, policy and declaration, but this is insignificant compared to the resources spent on ensuring the vehicle is safe to be on the road.

A recent Loughborough University study has also highlighted that commercial drivers have a significantly reduced life expectancy in comparison to the national average and almost half of drivers score abnormally for anxiety and depression.

This month’s Fitness to drive Toolbox Talk informs drivers of the importance of their fitness and health, the legal obligations and how they can improve both road safety and quality of life. It covers:

  • What the law says with regards to fitness, eyesight, alcohol and medication
  • The minimum medical standards for driving and sudden disabling events
  • Sleeping disorders, obstructive sleep apnoea and fatigue
  • Improving lifestyle through a balanced diet and physical activity

Drivers routinely check their vehicles to ensure they are roadworthy and safe to drive. This practice is unquestionable, and most know their obligations, but do drivers apply the same roadworthiness rigour to themselves? After all, it’s people that have accidents, not vehicles.