At 2 AM on March 10, 2019, we sprung forward an hour thanks to Daylight Savings Time (DST). Here’s the good news: the much-anticipated event heralds the arrival of spring, which couldn’t come soon enough for many of us struggling through a difficult winter.
Here’s the bad news: Not only will we be losing an hour of sleep, DST can also mean additional challenges on the road for drivers and pedestrians. Why? The time change can have an impact on how well you sleep and your body’s internal clock. As a result, it’s not uncommon for drivers to feel tired behind the wheel, one of the leading causes of accidents.
It’s called “fatigue impairment”, and, much like alcohol, it has a debilitating effect on one’s reaction time and impairs one’s judgement, elevating the potential for accidents. In fact, according to The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), moving our clocks forward on a Sunday can cause a 23 percent increase in traffic accidents the Monday following.
No one likes to lose an hour of sleep, but the way you respond to that loss can make all the difference.
Some tips to keep you sae when the clock springs forward include:
- Go to sleep earlier than usual: even an extra 15 minutes can have an impact on how you feel. Try it this weekend.
- Get outside and exercise: some extra Vitamin D will do you some good
- Lighten up: in the morning, make it a point to keep the lights on and open your blinds. Do the opposite in the evening.
- Be careful when you drive: be extra mindful of your fatigue behind the wheel. Take care to ensure your attention is fully on the road, getting rid of all distractions.