One month from now, we will be switching over to standard time, so-called winter time, in Sweden. So, from Sunday 31 October 2021, we will set our clocks back by one hour, which will make it brighter in the morning, but it will get dark one hour earlier in the afternoon. How does this affect the working conditions of professional drivers who spend most of their working hours driving in the dark? And what measures can be taken to increase safety on the roads and in your own work environment?
The new UNECE R58 revision 3 regulation amends Regulation No 58 and is based on research studies and an overall safety objective to reduce injuries in collisions. The objective is to ensure a higher level of safety for occupants of passenger vehicles, who are at high risk of serious injury or death if the vehicle they are travelling in collides with the back of a truck or trailer.
Statistics on accidents clearly show that the risk of traffic accidents is 2-3 times greater in the dark than in daylight. Darkness affects us as people in many ways, and, for those who work on the roads, occupational risks increase during the darker seasons.
In the cab of a truck, for instance, it is common to be dazzled by cars that are not as used to driving in the dark and therefore do not dim their high beams when they see the truck’s position light.
Tiredness leads to decreased concentration and the darkness makes it more difficult to detect any obstacles or hazards in good time. The risk is greatest between the hours of 3am and 5am, since the body biologically lowers blood pressure to its lowest level of the day to give the body the rest it needs.
A third of all road accidents involving pedestrians occur during the November to January period. This is believed to be because many people in trafficked environments do not use reflectors to the extent necessary to prevent accidents. Remember that, as a driver, you increase your own safety by wearing a reflective vest when you move around outside your truck. Reflectors can be considered a good and cheap form of life insurance during the dark period that is now approaching.
Take care of yourself and your fellow road users!
Fill in the form and we will send you a hi-vis reflective vest!