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Mental stress of commercial vehicle drivers is becoming a risk on the roads

17.09.2014: Commercial vehicle drivers who are under stress can become a risk on our roads - numerous studies have found that this occupational group is now also experiencing a move from physical to mental stress. What is new: a change to German safety and health legislation requires that mental stress must also be included in risk assessments.

Commercial vehicle drivers who are under stress can become a risk on our roads - numerous studies have found that this occupational group is now also experiencing a move from physical to mental stress. What is new: a change to German safety and health legislation requires that mental stress must also be included in risk assessments. This means that employers and haulage companies have to engage with the subject of mental stress in depth. But, through the development and installation of assistance systems, manufacturers of commercial vehicles can also make it easier for drivers to absorb and process information. Such systems are an important element when it comes to reducing mental stress. Cooperation between drivers, employers, manufacturers, legislators and the TÜV should mean that a considerable reduction in the mental stress suffered by commercial vehicle drivers is possible – helping to maintain safety on our roads. These and other topics will be presented by TÜV NORD at IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover (25. September to 2 October 2014, Hall 13, Stand E 14).

Illness and early retirement caused by mental stress have increased steadily over recent years. This movement towards increased mental stress can also be seen in the case of commercial vehicle drivers. Physical stress has decreased because of improved vehicle technology, e.g. servo systems and automatic gearboxes. At the same time, however, the tasks of the professional driver have become much more complex and place greater demands on mental capacity and resilience.

The move from physical to mental stress is also taking place because of increased use of electronic devices in the working environment - for example digital tachographs, on-board computers and communication systems. Other factors include the increase in cross-border traffic, which sets higher demands as regards the ability to use different languages, and also involves tighter deadlines, increased traffic density and more traffic jams. A further factor is risky and aggressive behaviour on the part of other road users.

The change to German health and safety legislation which came into force on 25 October 2013 means that mental stress also has be included in risk assessments. Employers must now consider the metal stress suffered by drivers and, if necessary, have to take measures in order to reduce it.

The Medical-Psychological Institute (MPI) at TÜV NORD carries out examinations on commercial vehicle drivers, as well as - together with the colleagues from Meditüv -risk assessments regarding mental stress. This is important, as the link between mental stress, too many demands made on commercial vehicle drivers and the risk of accident is very clear.

Further information about the activities of TÜV NORD is available at the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair both one to one with our representatives and in presentations for visitors and the general public.

Hall 13, Stand E 14.

About TÜV NORD GROUP

With over 10,000 employees, TÜV NORD GROUP is one of the largest technical service providers, offering its advisory, service and inspection expertise in over 70 countries throughout the world. Areas of activity include Industrial Services, Mobility, IT and Training. TÜV NORD GROUP occupies a unique position in the sector based on its work in the fields of natural resources and aerospace and is firmly committed to its guiding principle and watchword: “Excellence for your business”.

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