It’s that time of year again, one many look forward to: Day Light Savings! On Sunday, yes, we gained back our extra hour of sleep. But many of us celebrated by staying up extra late. And the disruption in our usual sleep patterns may have negatively impacted our concentration and alertness while driving.
Studies show that there is a 10% increase in accidents in the two weeks after the change as compared to the number of accidents in the two weeks before the change. Gaining the extra hour often fools us into thinking we’re okay to stay up later.
“The end of Daylight Savings Time can also impact the quality of our sleep due to more nighttime restlessness and disruption of our circadian rhythms,” claims Dr. John Vavrick, a psychologist with ICBC. These interruptions in our sleeping patterns can make drivers dangerous on the roads.
To help protect yourself and other road users, it’s important to keep your regular sleeping patterns. This will allow you to benefit from the extra hour of sleep and be alert while driving. The time change also means it’s dark earlier, so be aware of the changes and potential for bad weather. Make sure your car is properly equipped with winter tires and all maintenance is up-to-date. It’s good to have a first aid or emergency kit in your car. Be prepared – it helps you stay safe.
For More Information:
- ICBC warns drivers about the dangers of time change, ICBC
- Daylight Saving 2011: How Time Change Affects Our Health, Huffington Post