AS the festive season approaches Swinton Taxi Division, a broker of taxi insurance, is offering tips to taxi drivers working long hours over the Christmas period.

With the holiday season only a few weeks away and with taxi drivers likely to be working long hours during Christmas and New Year, Swinton is warning cabbies that staying alert behind the wheel is crucial while working long shifts on the road.

Research has shown that driving with just three hours sleep can have as much of an adverse effect as drink driving, with one in 10 taxi drivers admitting to nodding off during a late shift.

With that in mind, Swinton Taxi Division is offering the following tips to keep Britain’s cabbies safe this winter:

  • Get a good sleep (at least eight hours) before attempting a long shift, especially if working between the hours of 6pm and 6am
  • If you begin to feel fatigued during a shift, find somewhere safe to stop and take a break from the road
  • Make sure your car has a regular supply of fresh air, as this will help keep you alert, while drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks can also help to increase energy levels

Steve Chelton, claims manager at Swinton, said: “During Christmas and New Year, a taxi driver’s workload increases significantly, with many cabbies looking to take on extra hours during the festive period.

“Driving while tired increases your chances of being involved in an accident and having to make a claim on your taxi insurance.

“Taxi drivers have a responsibility to their passengers as well as themselves to stay safe on the road, so it is vital that they take steps to ensure that they’re not fatigued when undertaking long shifts this Christmas.”