Everything truck drivers should know about Daylight Saving Time
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Daylight Saving Time (DST) — not Daylight Savings Time — can have a big impact on truck drivers. Shifting sleep schedules, logging considerations and roads filled with fatigued drivers can all pose a challenge for truck drivers dealing with the time change.
Here’s everything truckers need to know about DST for November 2022.
When do I change my clocks?
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 6 (and starts again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2023). It’s recommended that you set your clocks one hour back— fall back — before you go to bed Saturday night.
While many electronic devices automatically adjust for DST, you should double check the settings of your phone and other devices. This is especially important if you rely on your phone as your alarm clock.
Every state aside from Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii observes DST. Unless you drive locally in either of those excluded states, you will be affected by the time change.
How do Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) handle Daylight Saving Time?
Schneider has used electronic logs since 2010, as e-logs (ELDs) are now federally mandated. Most e-log providers automatically handle the DST calculations for drivers.
Regardless of springing forward or falling back, drivers still need to adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for how many hours a truck driver can drive.
For falling back, drivers do not need to take an extra hour for their 10-hour break. This is because the break is still measured by 10 actual hours off duty. If possible, aim to be on your 10-hour break at that time.
Other E-log DST 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. on Saturday, your 10 hours off duty would usually end at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Because this is a DST day, though, you would have completed 10 hours by 7 a.m.
- Same goes for 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 follow all HOS rules.
How Daylight Saving Time can impact devices:
The times for the duty status before daylight savings ending will show a Daylight Time designation (EDT, CDT, etc.). Statuses after the time change will appear under the Standard Time designation (EST, CST, etc.).
Since this is not a standard day, the time on your November 6 log will add up to 25 hours, regardless of what device you use.
For 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 will show repeating the 1-2 a.m. timeframe right after the first 1-2 a.m. timeframe passed.
If you are using paper logs, you must flag your log in the remarks section with the words, “Fall Time Change.”
How can truck drivers stay safe during Daylight Saving Time?
Getting the proper amount of sleep is critical, as fatigue often plays a role in accidents that happen around DST. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who only sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
The following are a few tips drivers can follow to stay safe around Daylight Saving Time:
- Adjust your sleep schedule: Losing an hour can impact your sleep. Adjust your sleep schedule by going to bed a few minutes earlier each day leading up to the time change.
- Know how the time change impacts you: Take note of the electronic logging information above. Double-check your pickup and delivery times, ETAs and Next Available Times (NATs).
- Follow safe driving practices: As it gets dark sooner, use safe driving practices and best trip planning practices. Reduce speed, increase your following distance and don’t outdrive your headlights.
- Be prepared for the weather: Fall Daylight Saving Time marks the start of winter weather changes. Make sure your truck driver emergency kit is stocked with winter supplies.
It’s just one hour, but it’s still important to plan accordingly. Drive safe!
Looking to sleep better on the road?
Check out our collection of sleep-related blogs to help improve your sleep and stay safe on the road.
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