As most Canadians forward their clocks this Sunday for Daylight Saving Time (DST), we would like to remind drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to get some extra rest and take extra care next week due to the grogginess some people may feel.
While the days will consist of more daylight, the time change can have a significant effect on some people's sleep patterns, resulting in a disruption to their circadian rhythms or "biological clock". An increase in daylight and warmer temperatures also means more pedestrians and cyclists on the roads. Therefore, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should remember to use caution and leave extra time to get to their destinations - particularly during the Monday commute.
Crash statistics illustrate a higher driving risk the first work day after Daylight Saving begins. In British Columbia, for example, according to the five-year average from 2005 to 2009, on the Monday following the springtime change, there were 850 crash incidents, compared to 690 incidents the Monday before the time change. This represents a 23% increase in crash incidents.
Here are our top 5 smart driving tips for Daylight Saving Time:
Get some rest: Try to go to bed earlier. To help yourself to fall asleep faster - exercise during the day, have a hot bath or shower before going to bed, then read a book with a warm glass of milk prior just prior to bedtime. Plan ahead: Give yourself extra time to drive to and from work. Slow down and keep your distance, especially with more pedestrians and cyclists on the road. Lights on: Continue to use your headlights at ALL times to ensure you are visible to pedestrians and other road users. Ensure that your headlights are clean and that all bulbs (both high and low beam) are functioning properly. Be a good role model: Set an example by making smart driving decisions - whether it's to your children, passengers or other road users. Your decisions can have a significant positive influence on others.