Is Covid-19 Causing Rise in Drivers' Mental Health Issues?
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, it has caused a cascading effect on jobs, salaries, livelihoods, and businesses leading to a rise in stress and anxiety in people. The pandemic has halted 93% of mental health services across the world resulting in relapse or upping of reported cases.
Covid-19 remains a major concern for fleets, drivers as it has impacted their operations and the changes they have implemented. Mental health problems are an issue during Covid-19 among drivers across the world. There has been a huge focus on PPE to protect staff members, and vehicle sanitization pre and post-shift is now part of the daily routine when vehicles are shared. This is likely to continue to post Covid as an industry-wide expectation.
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The Rise in Shared Occupancy Risks:
Shared occupancy risks mean those fleets with crews have had to hire additional vehicles so each employee can be isolated, which has increased costs. One fleet which has undertaken a policy of centralization is now considering decentralization to reflect a possible move away from single offices with hundreds of staff to regional offices with a few staff. This has implications for company vehicles that are depot-based, especially electric with the need for more charging points. Know more about Car Tracking Device? How does it Work?
Appreciation for Working During the Height of the Pandemic:
Leasing companies and manufacturers were praised for the way they moved to support fleets, especially essential services fleets which continued working during the height of the pandemic. Demonstrators were mobilized in some instances to ensure staff from the NHS were able to get out into the community, while order books remained open. Truck Drivers Diet Plan: Top 9 Healthiest Food/ Meal for Truck Drivers? (Detailed)
Introducing the Digital Age of working:
The way fleets work has changed with much less mileage as a rule and more video calls. Some believe the digital age is more effective, facilitating better, more productive, and more constructive relationships with drivers. The generous view is that there will be less driving in the future, which is good for the green agenda and for the NHS from a health perspective. Read about the 4 Reasons Why Fleet Maintenance is Important for Heavy Duty Trucks?
Reduction in Overall Number of Offices:
Consequently, some companies are looking at reducing the overall number of offices they have as staff opts for agile working. Wellbeing remains a key focus, ensuring employees are ok. Here is the Check List for Effective Truck Maintenance Over Time
Factors Affecting Fleet Operations:
Broader influences are also affecting fleet operations. Some car drivers are exiting the car scheme and opting for salary sacrifice because of the preferential taxation and the fact they have a better choice of car. One fleet has seen a 37% rise in sal/sac orders even though mileage driven is down. Lower mileage is encouraging greater interest in PHEV and EVs. COVID Impact: Toyota's Quarterly Profits Lowest in 9 years, Car Sales Down 50%
Reduction in Operating Fleet/Vehicles:
A reduction in mileage is leading some fleets to consider their fleet size with an anticipated reduction in vehicles, especially in urban areas where there are other forms of transport readily available. But those operational essential services recognize they will always need vehicles, especially those with vans. Fleets that traditional outright purchase their vehicles are considering whether to lease electric vehicles because it eliminates any RV risk and SMR risk. Damage to EVs can require a lot of electrical work. Also, Read Despite COVID Telsa Records Highest Sale in Q3
Top 5 Tips to Overcome with Mental Health Issues:
Social Contact is Important
Limit Alcohol and Drug use
Take Care of Yourself
1. Minimize Newsfeeds
Try to reduce how much you watch, read, or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed. Explore California Driving Laws (Drivers Must Read Quick-Book)
2. Social Contact is Important
If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels. Here are the Top 7 Essential Road Safety Rules for Drivers
3. Limit Alcohol and Drug use
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Don’t start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom, and social isolation. There is no evidence of any protective effect of drinking alcohol for viral or other infections. In fact, the opposite is true as the harmful use of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of infections and worse treatment outcomes. Driver Alert: America's 7 Most Haunted Roads
4. Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself at this time. Try and use helpful coping strategies such as ensuring sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat sufficient and healthy food, engage in physical activity, and stay in contact with family and friends. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as the use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. In the long term, these can worsen your mental and physical well-being. Read more about the 8 Ways to Improve Driver Behavior with a Modern Fleet Management System
5. Video Games
While video games can be a way to relax, it can be tempting to spend much more time on them than usual when at home for long periods. Be sure to keep the right balance with off-line activities in your daily routine.
Contact us for a quick demo or 14-day trial to know more about our Driver Monitoring System and how we can help in connecting your assets in real-time to the internet. Visit our FAQ page for some frequently asked questions on fleet management.
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