How does Daylight Savings Time Affect Truckers

Fatigue is estimated to play a role in one in six crashes. While fatigue is an ongoing problem for truckers, it can be even more noticeable in spring just after daylight savings time is implemented. Does Daylight Savings Time increase the risk of a claim against rig insurance ? Numerous studies have all been performed over the years with some surprising results.

Rutgers University professor Isaac Edery has performed extensive research on the “circadian clock”, an internal mechanism responsible for controlling behavior according to time and season. In 2012, he published an article in the Asbury Times that stated human beings tended to lose 20 to 30 minutes of sleep per night each March after Daylight Savings Time takes effect. According to Edery, this loss of sleep can go on for weeks or even months, causing many people to feel chronically fatigued.

While chronic fatigue is a big enough problem for most people, it’s even more bothersome for truckers. Chairperson Deborah Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board claims fatigued drivers are a problem because being tired slows reaction time and impairs judgment. Former trucker David Kolman claims it can take truckers up to two weeks to readjust their sleep schedule after “springing forward.”

Studies have actually taken place on the topic of Daylight Savings Time and fatigue since the 1970s, and have been performed by researchers in Australia, Canada and the UK. All of them show at least a moderate link between the implementation of Daylight Savings Time and disrupted sleep patterns. One Canadian study showed motor vehicle crashes increased eight percent in the week after clocks are set forward one hour. That study also showed they decreased by seven percent once clocks were set back one hour in the fall.

Truckers must be extremely diligent in spring to avoid fatigue caused by the onset of Daylight Savings Time. For more information, contact us.