Safety reminders for the start of Daylight Saving Time

A photograph of an older style round alarm clock with bells on top, sitting in a field of daisies with the sun setting in the background.

Each Spring we adjust our clocks to reflect the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST). While an extra hour of daylight is always welcome, there are some real safety and health issues that are associated with the time change.

Some research has shown that vehicle accidents increase on the Monday following the start of Daylight Saving Time – when we are fatigued from losing an hour of sleep and the mornings are temporarily darker again. 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 Savings 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.
  • Be patient with yourself, and others. Changes in sleep patterns can often cause irritability and distress

The start and end of Daylight Saving Time can also serve as good reminders of other safety tips. For example, when you change your clocks you should also:

  • Check the batteries in your home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries and then test to ensure they’re working properly.
  • 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.