Fleet News

Drivers sentenced to a life of back pain

THOUSANDS of fleet drivers face a life sentence of medical problems caused by high mileages behind the wheel unless employers give them expert guidance. Fleet decision makers at an Association of Car Fleet Operators' East Anglia meeting heard that poorly designed seats or bad driving positions in cars, combined with high mileages, could result in long-lasting problems for drivers.

Back pain and muscle injuries are among the problems staff face from issues as simple as misaligned clutch pedals, the meeting heard. Wendy Morris, ergonomics consultant for the Institute of Occupational Ergonomics at Nottingham University, said: 'The vehicle is becoming a mobile office for a lot of people, but whereas staff might have settled for any car in the past, if you are spending a lot of time in the vehicle, you need to choose wisely. With modern driving, for example, you may spend a lot of time in traffic jams, which will mean pressing down on the clutch pedal a lot. If the pedal is misaligned, then it could lead to long-term problems. It also comes down to what each individual needs and that can affect their choice of car.'

Research by Loughborough University has shown that drivers covering more than 25,000 miles a year in a car have more than 22 days off a year on average because of lower back problems, whereas those covering 5,000 miles a year have just over three days a year. Overall, back pain is responsible for about 116 million sick days and costs industry more than £5 billion a year, the transport unit at ICE Ergonomics, part of Loughborough University, estimates.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee