Daylight savings time has always been controversial. Many people question whether it is necessary now that we’ve moved away from being an agricultural society. Others, truck drivers especially, feel the sting of losing an hour of either sleep or driving — time is money, after all. Time confusion is another negative aspect of daylight savings time, made even more confusing by the fact that some places, like Arizona, do not participate in the time change. But there is another reason that truck drivers should dread the spring time change: more traffic accidents happen in the mornings following the daylight savings time shift.
Research has shown that there is a 17% spike in traffic accidents on the first Monday morning commute after the time change, with a general uptick in morning accidents the entire first week after the daylight savings time changes begin.
Why Do Accidents Increase After Daylight Savings Time Changes?
One of the biggest reasons that there are more accidents after daylight savings time is that 4 wheel drivers are unused to driving to work in the dark. The time change also has negative effects on most motorist’s sleep cycles, meaning that nearly everyone is driving to work in a sleep-deprived state, making accidents more likely.
How Can Truck Drivers Protect Themselves From Groggy Commuters?
The best way for drivers to protect themselves is to be aware of the threat that sleep-deprived commuters pose on the first Monday after the time change. Reduce speeds and exercise extreme caution on the road. You can also try to ensure that you’re in the best possible shape to drive yourself — well-rested, alert and ready to react quickly to any potential hazards you encounter on the road.
NY Daily News