Driver roadworthiness

15 February 2024

In comparison to vehicle roadworthiness, there is no common industry practice to manage driver roadworthiness. Whether it’s physical fitness, mental health or impairments such as distraction, fatigue, drugs and alcohol. 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.

Commercial drivers also 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 Driver Roadworthiness Toolbox Talk explores what’s ‘under the driver’s bonnet’ and informs 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.