How to manage driver fatigue as an Uber driver
Everyone who is working full-time will get tired at some point during their week, and this is no different for Uber drivers. Uber drivers may experience driver fatigue from working long hours along with the fact that they will be situated in the same seat for most of the day or night.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you take at least a minimum 10-minute break every two hours. This will help you avoid driver fatigue as an Uber driver. Furthermore, regular breaks also significantly reduce the chances of you making a mistake, which could be catastrophic. Not only are you putting yourself, your passengers and others at risk, but your Uber insurance policy will increase in premium considerably if you have to pursue a claim as a result of being involved in an accident.
Relax and eat well
When you’re working, if you do feel tired, please pull over in a location where it is safe to do so. Take a short walk, stretch your muscles, grab a coffee and relax. Uber drivers that work long hours may find it challenging to eat healthy when they are out on the open road. Did you know that your diet is linked to your performance and can have a noticeable affect on your driving?
Although it may be convenient, even more so if you’re involved in Uber Eats delivery, please try to avoid fast food from takeaways as much as you possibly can. Hydration is also key, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Also try to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and sugary drinks. These are not good for your health, especially in the long term.
Exercise to stay fit
Having a good diet is only half of the equation. The other half is exercise, especially if you want a well-balanced lifestyle. You should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day if you want a healthy work/life balance. To maintain your muscle health, you will want to stretch your back, neck and shoulders throughout the day. This will be helpful as you will be spending long periods of time out on the open road and sitting in the same position for hours at a time.
Like any career, a good night’s sleep is essential for you to operate at your optimal performance. This is even more so for driving with Uber or any other private hire company for that matter. If your working hours are during the late night, ensure that you’re getting enough sleep the following day. You must be well rested to do your job appropriately and most importantly, safely.
Adjust the car seat in your taxi
Okay, so you’ve now got your diet sorted, you are in better shape and you’re getting enough sleep. This is all great, but now we’re going to focus on your working environment. This is where driver comfort takes top priority, especially given the fact that you will be primarily seated in the same position for the tens of thousands of miles you will cover each year. If you’re driving for long hours, this can cause stress on both your back, neck and shoulders, similar to sitting at an office desk. Your Uber taxi is your new office. To improve your posture while driving, use the following steps to set up your working environment correctly:
- The first step – push your seat all the way back, lower it as much as you can, and recline back on it at a 30 to 40 degree angle.
- Increase the seat height until you are able to comfortably view the road. Your hips should be as high as your knees.
- If you find that your seat is still too low, add a cushion. This has the added benefit of reducing road vibration which can contribute to driver injury. Do not set your seat too high as this will not be suitable.
- You should now move your seat forward so that you are able to reach and completely press down on all the foot pedals. You should be able to do this without coming away from the back of the seat.
- Now, bring the back of the seat forward until you are able to recline at a 100 to 110 degree angle. Helpfully, this will reduce the pressure on your lower back, helping you sit comfortably.
- Your headrest should now be adjusted so it rests in the middle of the back of your head.
- You now need to adjust the lumbar support. This should help you achieve even and comfortable back support. Not all cars will have this functionality, so you could purchase a separate lumbar cushion for the extra support.
- Next, tilt your seat cushion so that it is able to evenly support your entire thigh. You should not feel any further pressure. The seat cushion should not be able to touch the back of your knees either. This is because uneven pressure could restrict blood flow to your legs, potentially causing serious long-term problems.
- This is often overlooked, but you should adjust your seat belt height to fit you instead of adjusting the seat to accommodate the seat belt position.
- Steering wheel – bring it down and towards you. This will minimise reach and stress placed on your body. Your neck and upper back will experience less strain if your elbows do not have to reach forward and upwards.
- Adjust your car mirrors – Uber drivers that slouch or find themselves in an awkward position may feel that their car mirrors now need to be adjusted. Mirrors also provide a good reminder that you should sit up straight, relax and start searching for a nearby place to take a break.
To summarise, driver fatigue can be a real killer. It can adversely affect your physical health and mental well-being. Remember to have a good diet, cut down on the caffeine and sugar, get enough hours of sleep, exercise to stay in tip top shape, and adjust your taxi’s car seat so it’s in the optimal position for you. To succeed as an Uber driver in the years ahead, relaxing and staying positive will be just as important. This will help you whilst you’re working and when you’re away from the steering wheel.