Daylight Savings Time in Minnesota: A Guide for Truck Drivers
It’s that time of year again when we “fall back” and move our clocks back one hour. Following the new time is simple enough when you remember to do this (and when you remember the time change is coming). But truck drivers often feel the effects of the time change differently, because many are working when the clocks change. Daylight Savings Time in Minnesota has ended, and the days are now shorter. In some cases, the time change is affecting drivers in a number of ways, especially long-haul truckers and local drivers working several jobs in a row.
Below is a guide for drivers at trucking companies in Minnesota to help them stay safe on the road and maintain the electronic systems on their commercial vehicles.
Drivers and sleep
Whether we actually gain an extra hour of sleep when Daylight Savings Time in Minnesota ends is debatable. As the driver of a large truck, you can take advantage of the extra hour in one of two ways. First, you can take hold of that extra hour and tack it onto your sleep schedule. Or, stick to your normal sleep pattern and wake up an hour early.
The end of Daylight Savings Time usually doesn’t disrupt your circadian rhythm like the start of DST does in the springtime. However, it could still cause a natural disruption in sleep. Similar to getting too little sleep, too much sleep is also associated with exhaustion and fatigue throughout the day. No matter if it is the start or end of DST, if you’re a driver for a freight hauling or delivery company or a long-haul trucker, always get enough sleep and be sure to rest when you need to.
Driver safety tips
It takes time to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. You might not be used to driving in darkness, which means reduced visibility during heavy traffic times. Furthermore, be aware that other motorists on the road are still getting used to the time change themselves.
Planning for the time change is extremely important for drivers. Setting an alert about the one hour “fall back” on your phone’s calendar can help you prepare, even though forgetting the end of Daylight Savings Time means being early rather than late. Adjust your sleep schedule accordingly so you’re completely refreshed for the long drive you have ahead of you, review your driving schedule so you don’t miss any deadlines and keep in mind that some states do not recognize DST.
Check electronics onboard your truck
Most electronic logging devices (ELDs) are designed to automatically adjust to the start and end of Daylight Savings Time in Minnesota. However, it’s worth taking a few minutes to double check that every device in the truck you are driving—including clocks—has indeed changed accordingly. This will help you avoid discrepancies in the driving hours you log, adhere to job deadlines, you’re your allotted breaks and more.
Experienced freight transportation service drivers already know what to do during time changes, and we hope this helps you too. If you are looking for a company for on-time pickup or delivery services, call K-Way Express, Inc. today!