It’s almost daylight saving time again*, and even if the clocks are adjusted by one hour only, its impact on everyone’s fatigue levels and circadian rhythms are undeniable.
When local standard time is about to reach
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour to
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 3:00 am local daylight time instead.
Transam Carriers is aware of the increased possibility of driver fatigue and hazards on the road due to disruptions in sleep patterns. We understand that time change can exacerbate drowsiness. That is why our safety department has recommended the following tips to truck drivers:
If possible, avoid during rush hours
Transam Carriers advice truck drivers to avoid driving early in the morning, during rush hours, when fatal accidents are three times more likely. Being on the road between 2:00 am and 4:00 am is usually risky because during this two-hour period is when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest.
Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco have an effect on the body and central nervous system, and can lead to improved alertness and difficulty getting to sleep. Besides, avoid gadgets such as tablets, phones, and computers because they stimulate the brain instead of letting you relax.
Get a full night’s sleep
Truck drivers should have at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. One night of good rest isn’t enough if you’ve had a number of sleepless nights. In that case, you’ll need to compensate with several nights of restful sleep.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleep deficiency impairs your driving ability just as being drunk. It’s estimated that about 100,000 car accidents every year that have resulted in more than1, 500 deaths, and over 70,000 injuries are attributed to drowsy driving.
Watch for signs of drowsy driving
Slow eyelid closures, the gentle swaying of your head, yawning, fidgeting in the seat, difficulty maintaining speed, trouble staying in your lane, and slow reactions are some signs of fatigue on the road, which causes 20% of crashes. To help cope with the situation, you’re advised to be extra careful in conditions that amplify drowsiness such as:
- Driving alone
- Monotonous road conditions with limited change in scenery
- Long drives
- Extended periods of heavy traffic
Drive alert, stay unhurt
Truck drivers aren’t just tired – they are dangerously impaired. And when the government is doing all it can to ensure the safety of drivers, employers and other stakeholders are also taking measures to help prevent fatigue-related safety incidents. Transam Carriers is on the front line to ensure truck drivers’ safety by addressing safety and health issues affecting commercial drivers.