Safety Bulletin: Daylight Savings and ELOGs

Safety Bulletin: Daylight Savings and ELOGs

This Sunday, March 12, we will all be setting our clocks forward and losing an hour of precious sleep, off-duty, or work time.

Daylight Savings Time impacts all drivers on the road and it’s more important than ever to be alert. Start planning now so you’re ready to handle the HOS difference if you’re driving at night or to hit the road refreshed when you wake up on Sunday.

The elog will automatically take care of DST, but you may find that you need to work an “extra” hour. Or, if you’re on your break when the clocks change, you’ll resume an hour “later” than you would. Remember, hours of service rules still apply.

For example, if you have a night shift from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM, your log will show that you worked an 8 hour shift. If you start a 10 hour break at 8:00 PM on Saturday, you will have to finish your break at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning because of Daylight Savings Time. Be sure to review your load and unload times and account for the loss of an hour.

Finally, daylight savings time wreaks havoc on our internal clocks. Prepare yourself by:

Getting adequate and/or extra sleep

  • You may feel more tired than usual during the week following the time change. It’s important to recognize that the time change can affect your sleeping habits. You can go to bed 15 minutes earlier every day for a week to offset this feeling.
  • Drink extra water during the day and avoid caffeine later in the day
  • Avoid “screen time” prior to going to sleep.

Driving defensively

  • Slow down to compensate for others on the road. Keep in mind that everyone around you is suffering the same effects. Increase your buffer space.

Always avoid distractions

  • This is important for any trip, regardless of time of day or time of year. However, it’s crucial not to add any other risk factors into the mix at the start of DST when you’re already at great risk.
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