Fleets warned about "autopilot" risks

For drivers that spend regular hours driving the same stretch of road, it is easy to lower concentration levels. Seeing the same scenery when on the road can lead you to forget that the road is almost organic, and there is always a risk to life and health when driving.

Maintaining constant awareness behind the wheel can be tiring, and the temptation to drift slightly when driving a familiar route can be significantly high.

Extra care should also be taken for fleet drivers, especially ones with a strict schedule and on repetitive journeys.

As part of a fleet's occupational health and safety (OHS) commitment, fleet managers may be making drivers aware of the dangers that confront road users in everyday working life.

Which is why this month the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) have advised drivers to take extra vigilance to avoid falling into "autopilot" when on the road.

According to the RACQ, who used statistics from a CARRS-Q report, 15 per cent of all road traffic fatalities in Queensland have occurred while people were driving to work, and therefore taking a familiar route.

"Putting your brain into autopilot isn't a new phenomenon and often occurs when we're driving a regular route," the RACQ explained in a recent article.

"That means it's the drivers preoccupied with work concerns or rushing to get home or on autopilot who should be taking the most care.

"It's an issue RACQ has been trying to raise awareness of for a while, because it's too easy to become complacent behind the wheel, especially when you know the route like the back of your hand."

Mitigating against a risk can be difficult, though the automotive authority said that by taking a moment to engage their brains for the journey ahead, drivers can improve their concentration levels.

Drivers for fleet services should be encouraged to stay vigilant behind the wheel and report any difficulties with concentration to their fleet manager.