On November 6, Daylight Savings Time (DST) officially ended for the year. On a positive note, that added another hour to the weekend, but with this change, we will ultimately see the sun setting sooner as winter approaches. The earlier sunset will make a dark drive home for many workers, specifically truck drivers.
At Spot, the safety and care for carriers and shippers in our network is our top priority. Here are some helpful tips and information to get you through the time change this year.
3 Things to be Aware of During the Time Change
Whenever DST comes around, it usually is not a quick adjustment. For truck drivers, changes in sleep schedules, logging considerations, and navigating interstates filled with fatigued drivers can pose additional challenges to an already difficult job. To ensure everyone is safe, here are a few things to be aware of during this time of year:
Now that the sun will be setting around 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), being cautious and alert on the roads is even more critical. It is reported that during the end of DST, there is a 16% increase in vehicle collisions with deer. Less visibility and more wildlife are always a dangerous combination.
Fall DST marks the start of winter weather changes across parts of the United States. Drivers must be aware of road and safety conditions in the regions they are traveling in. Drivers are encouraged to make sure their emergency kits are stocked with winter weather essentials.
Once DST ends, many possible health effects become present. An extra hour of sleep seems nice at first, but a change in your sleep schedule can significantly affect your internal clock. Ensuring drivers are well-rested, alert, and cautious on the roads will help keep roadways safe. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who only sleep for six or seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Studies have shown that it may take up to two weeks to adjust to a new schedule fully. The time change can impact symptoms such as fatigue, seasonal depression, and overall mental functions and health. Learning to take care of yourself is crucial during this time of year. Here are some tips for prioritizing your health:
- Stick to a routine: Whether this is a morning or a sleeping routine, keep the normality of it and let your body adjust naturally.
- Get some sunlight: Natural sunlight plays a significant role in improving your mood and lowering levels of depression.
- Go to bed earlier: To get the most sunlight possible for your day, try to get to bed earlier. This can also help your metabolism and the overall function of your body.
- Decrease screen time: Limit the amount of blue light right before bed to give your body the proper sleep it deserves.
- Change the clocks: Having all the clocks in your truck or house adjusted when the change happens can help ease the adjustment and get you used to the new normal.
Who is Affected?
Currently, about 70 countries still observe DST. However, not all regions of a particular country may observe the time change. For example, all states besides Hawaii and Arizona rolled clocks back an hour in the United States. This is important to consider, especially if you are a truck driver. Knowing the times of the states that you will be going to and from is key for on-time freight pickup and delivery.
Starting in 2023, DST may look a little different. On March 15, 2021, the Sunshine Protection Act 2021 was passed by the Senate. The action of this bill is to “make daylight savings time the new, permanent standard time, effective November 5, 2023,” according to Congress. With the permanence of DST, the hope is to reduce crime, reduce accidents, and eliminate a change that causes many adverse effects on people.
Spot Keeps Your Freight On-Time
Prioritizing your well-being and road safety measures are just a few ways to help you adjust to the hour difference. When problems arise getting freight delivered on time, Spot is here to help. Click here to join our carrier network today and see how Spot can help you all year round.