Daylight Savings Time (DST) – can have a big effect on truck drivers, from sleep schedules, to logging considerations, to safety on roads filled with fatigued drivers. Here’s everything truckers need to know about DST for 2019.
When Do I Change My Clocks
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 4, 2018 ( and it began on Sunday, March 10, 2019), so it’s recommended that you change your clocks back one hour – fall back – before you go to bed Saturday night. Many electronic devices automatically adjust for DST, but double check your cellphone and other device settings, particularly if you rely on your phone as an alarm clock.
How Does Daylight Saving Time Impact Truck Driver Safety on the Roads?
“Falling back” grants the potential opportunity for an extra hour of sleep, but the time change can still pose a challenge with circadian rhythms. It throws off our internal clocks, which can take a few days to adjust to. While the impact is greater in the spring, expanding darkness and sudden changes to our internal clocks still pose a challenge drivers need to be aware of.
According to a 2011 University of Colorado Boulder study, ” Spring Forward at your Own Risk: Daylight Savings Time and Fatal Vehicle Crashes,” in the first six days of DST, there were 302 deaths and a cost of @2.75 billion over a 10-year period. The Fatal Accident Reporting System found a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the time change.
Fatigue is a major factor. Sleep schedules are altered. Circadian rhythms are impacted. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
What Does That Mean for Truck Drivers, and What Are Some Driver Safety Tips?
Vigilance is critical. Plan ahead with your own sleep schedule, so you can be alert and avoid fatigue. At Schneider, our core value, “Safety First and Always” applies 24/7/365, but drivers need to be particularly aware of the motorists around them still adjusting to DST.
Pay close attention to your trip planning. Take note of the electronic logging information above. Double-check your pickup and delivery times, Estimated Times of Arrival (ETAs) and Next Available Times (NATs).
Its just one hour, but it’s still important to plan accordingly! Drive Safe!