Everything Truck Drivers Should Know About Daylight Saving Time

By The Schneider Guy Nov 1, 2018
Daylight Saving Time Clock

Daylight Saving Time (DST) — not Daylight Savings Time — 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 November 2018.

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 11), 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.

Arizona does not observe DST (except for Navajo Nation), and neither does Hawaii.

How Do Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Handle Daylight Saving Time?

Schneider has used electronic logs since 2010 — e-logs (ELDs or AOBRDs) are now federally mandated — and most e-log providers automatically handle the DST calculations for drivers. Drivers must remember that regardless of falling back or springing forward, you still have to adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

For falling back, drivers do not need to take an extra hour for your 10-hour break — it’s still measured by 10 actual hours off duty. If possible, aim to be on your 10-hour break at that time.

Examples

  • If you work 1-8 a.m., it should show that you worked eight hours because you moved back one hour during that timeframe.
  • If you start your 10-hour break at 10 p.m. Saturday, your 10 hours off duty would normally be completed at 8 a.m. Sunday, but because this is a DST day, you would have completed 10 hours by 7 a.m.
  • Same with the 34-hour restart — if the restart crosses over DST on Sunday, you will reach your 34 an hour earlier than it would appear. You must still take a full 34-hour reset and comply with all Hours of Service rules.

Schneider uses multiple mobile communications platforms. The times for the duty status will show a Daylight Time designation (EDT, CDT, etc.) for statuses before the time change, and a Standard Time designation (EST, CST, etc.) after the time change. Whatever device you use, since this is not a standard day, the time on your Nov. 4 log will add up to 25 hours.

  • Omnitracs MCP200 device: Your device will automatically fall back one hour at 2 a.m. of your regulatory home terminal time. If you are on the same duty status at the time change, the graph will show a darker line from 1-2 a.m. where the hour overlaps for the hour. If you are working during the time change, the graph will record the duty status in order of occurrence.
  • Tablets with HOS functionality: Your device will automatically fall back one hour at 2 a.m. of your regulatory home terminal time. The log graph should show repeating the 1-2 a.m. timeframe right after the first 1-2 a.m. timeframe passed. All Schneider drivers using the tablet for HOS need to fill out a paper log for Nov. 4, flagged with “Fall Time Change” in the remarks.
  • PeopleNet device: Your device will automatically fall back one hour at 2 a.m. of your home time terminal time. The log graph will show repeating the 1-2 a.m. timeframe right after the first 1-2 a.m. timeframe passed.

All drivers must still take a full 10-hour break and comply with all Hours of Service rules.

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).

It’s just one hour, but it’s still important to plan accordingly! Drive safe!

How do you trip plan to accommodate Daylight Saving Time? What do you think about Daylight Saving Time?


About the Author

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Schneider Guy loves the “Big Orange.” He’s passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He’s been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he’s excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through “A Slice of Orange."

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