Daylight Saving Time is ending this Sunday, and with it will certainly come a rash of accidents for truckers and other drivers. While most know about the impacts that the “spring forward” in March has on motorists, fewer recognize the dangers of the “fall back.” After all, people should be getting more sleep, so they should be more alert drivers, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The fall back leads more people to drive at night on their commutes home, and it can throw off our internal balance, paradoxically causing more sleep to lead to more drowsiness. So how can truckers stay safe during these times? Here’s how.
Check Your Headlights Before Daylight Saving Time Leaves
Falling back is nice at first because you get to sleep for an extra hour. That first morning, you’ll wake up with the sun shining and your body feeling great. However, there’s a downside to this time: the night will come much quicker that evening, and with it will go the daylight. This leaves a lot of truckers driving in darker conditions than they are used to, which can create obvious problems for safety. So make sure your headlights are in good working order before you head out on the road that first morning. You don’t want to find yourself dealing with a nasty surprise later.
Try to Change Your Sleep Schedule Slowly
Sleep is always tough for truckers, and the end of daylight savings doesn’t help at all. Even though you can get more sleep, that doesn’t mean you won’t wind up more drowsy than before after the fall backward. The best way to fight this is to slowly and gradually change your sleep schedule over the course of the week. If you currently wake up extra early, start shifting your alarm back a few minutes each day before the big change. If you wake up with just enough time to get out on the road, you might want to start adjusting after the actual change. Just make sure to go to bed an hour early before you start your switch!
Truckers Should Take Care on the Road During Daylight Saving Time
The last thing a trucker wants to deal with is an accident. Even if they have solid collision insurance, dealing with an accident can still be a long and costly experience. And with every driver on the road dealing with the same drowsiness and visibility issues, it’s up to truckers to make sure they’re staying safe. Try to be extra vigilant on the road for the first few days after the time change and look out for erratic drivers. After about a week, things should settle back into normalcy. However, until then, stay safe by keeping an eye out for trouble.