As the clocks "fall back" this weekend with the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST), there are several considerations and tips truck drivers should keep in mind to ensure they get plenty of rest and avoid driving tired. DST can significantly impact truck drivers, challenging them with shifting sleep schedules, logging considerations, and roads filled with fatigued drivers.
Here's what truck drivers need to know:
Time Change: DST ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023, when clocks should be set one hour back. Most electronic devices will adjust automatically, but drivers should double-check, especially if they rely on their phones as alarm clocks.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): These devices, which have been federally mandated and used by companies like FedEx Custom Critical and Panther Premium Logistics since 2010, will automatically handle the DST calculations for drivers. However, truck drivers must still adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
Adjust Sleep Schedule: To avoid fatigue, plan ahead by gradually going to bed an hour earlier during the week leading up to DST.
Understand the Impact: Be aware of how the time change affects electronic logging information. Double-check pickup, delivery times, and other scheduling details.
Safe Driving Practices: The change in time means adjustments in daylight during driving hours. Utilize defensive driving and best trip planning practices to stay safe.
Getting adequate sleep is critical. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that people who sleep only six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash, highlighting the importance of rest, especially during the time changes associated with DST.
These tips can help truck drivers maintain their alertness and safety on the roads during this seasonal time change, ensuring they are well-rested and not driving tired.
As always drive safe!