1 in 3 Van drivers suffering from SAD
New research from Mercedes-Benz Vans has revealed the impact Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is having on the van community, with 1 in 3 van drivers affected in autumn and winter.
When the clocks change many drivers start and complete their full working day in the dark with a lack of daylight hours causing shifts to appear longer resulting increased fatigue.
45% of drivers involved in the study confessed that the shorter days affect their mood with common effects of SAD including tiredness, loss of concentration and early signs of mental health issues.
It is of increased importance during autumn and winter to recognise those impacted by the change in seasons and offer support to employees and colleagues where it is required.
The lethargy and distraction caused by SAD is also reflected in our behaviour on the roads with a separate study by Insurethebox discovering that during the autumn and winter months, accidents between 5pm-8pm increase by 36%.
83% of van drivers feel that tiredness affects them more during autumn/winter according to the study by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Almost HALF of those involved in the study (48%) even admitted to almost falling asleep at the wheel.
Ignoring SAD and its effects among those who drive for work, or drive for long periods of the day is not only negligent, but can also increase the risk of accidents on the roads, endangering the driver and other road users.
Combatting tiredness at the wheel is simple too.
It is important to remember that remedies such as drinking coffee only acts as a short-term fix, while rolling down the windows to stay awake is a myth, unproven in curing your drowsiness.
The National Sleep Foundation claims that taking more regular breaks, and even napping for 15-45 minutes is the best way to prevent tiredness at the wheel.
With winter approaching, if you are suffering from SAD or any of its symptoms always seek help by talking to family, friends or co-workers.
If any problems persist, you should always consult your GP.