Safety Reminders for the End of Daylight Saving Time

Each fall we adjust our clocks for the end of Daylight Saving Time. While many people get to enjoy an extra hour of sleep on the weekend, there are some real safety and wellness implications that come with the time shift.

The switch back to standard time means many drivers are suddenly making the commute home in darkness. It takes time for drivers and pedestrians to adjust to the decreased visibility, and according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), pedestrians are more than 3x as likely to be struck and killed in the hours after 6 p.m in the days following the time change.

With the change in sleep pattern also comes an increased risk of danger to anyone operating a vehicle or heavy machinery, as fatigue increases and focus is often diminished.

Here are some things to keep in mind during the switch to Daylight Standard Time:

  • Start adjusting your sleep and waking times in the days leading up to the time change, so the shift won’t seem as great.
  • Be extra alert and cautious while driving.
  • If you’re out walking, make sure you’re wearing reflective gear to ensure you’re seen by drivers.
  • Be patient with yourself, and others. Changes in sleep patterns can often cause irritability and distress.

The end of Daylight Saving Time can also serve as a reminder for other important safety tips as well.

  • Change the batteries in your home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While you should check your detectors each month, the time change is a great time to replace the batteries.
  • Check your fire extinguishers. The small gauge at the top will show if it needs to be recharged or replaced.
  • Restock or prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle. Make sure you’re ready to face seasonal issues, but always include a blanket, flashlight, batteries, water, non-perishable snacks, reflective hazard triangle, first aid kit and warm clothes.