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Another season of British Summer Time (also known as daylight saving time in other parts of the world) has come and gone. We are now left with one hour less daylight as a result of the change. Here at the HGV Training Centre, we urge PCV and HGV drivers to be more cautious now that we are back to normal timekeeping.

Numerous studies over the years have demonstrated that the number of road crashes increases during the first six days following the time change. This is true both in the spring and the autumn. There may be several reasons for this, including interrupted sleep patterns and less daylight to work with at either end of the spectrum. During the spring, we lose an hour of daylight in the morning while the autumn change takes from us an hour of daylight in the evening.

Despite arguments over whether or not the scientific studies are accurate, it is hard to argue that it is more difficult to see once the sun goes down. So an hour of additional darkness, at a time of day when traffic is at its peak, would seem to make it easier to be involved in an accident. The best antidote is an extra dose of caution.

Slow Down, Keep Watch

What can PCV and HGV drivers do to be safer over the winter? First, slow down. You need more time to react to potential hazards when it’s dark out simply because it takes longer for your brain to process the information and devise a corrective solution. The faster you are going, the more likely it is that any accident you are involved in will result in serious injuries or death.

Second, PCV and HGV drivers need to be diligent about keeping watch. Drivers should constantly be scanning well ahead of their vehicles to identify anything that looks as if it might be out of place. They need to be continually on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and broken-down cars on motorways. Essentially anything that could be a hazard during the daylight hours becomes more dangerous once the sun goes down. Drivers must be more diligent during the evening and overnight hours.

The Telegraph estimates that the autumn time change results in accidents with a total price tag of some £200 million per year for treating injuries. They advocate remaining on British Summer Time throughout the year in order to provide that extra hour of sunlight in the evening. Whether or not doing so would help does not alleviate PCV and HGV drivers from the responsibilities of slowing down and keeping watch.

Improve Through Training

The autumn season is a good time to undergo additional driver training that will make you a safer driver and count towards your 35 hours of mandatory CPC training. The HGV Training Centre can provide training classes that are appropriate to your business and the types of vehicles your drivers routinely operate.

Sources:

Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11188313/5-reasons-to-keep-Daylight-Savings-Time-all-year-round.html

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