Safety Tips for the Start and End of Daylight Saving Time

Each spring and fall we adjust our clocks for the start and end of Daylight Saving Time. It’s great to have an extra hour of daylight in March or an extra hour of sleep in October, but it’s important to recognize how the time change can affect our biological clock and the implications for our safety and wellness.

Some research has shown that vehicle accidents increase in March at the start of Daylight Savings Time – when we are fatigued from losing an hour of sleep and the mornings are temporarily darker again.

In the fall, the switch back to standard time means many drivers face the abrupt shift to commuting home in darkness. It takes time for drivers, and pedestrians, to adjust to the decreased visibility, and studies have shown that pedestrians are much more likely to be struck by vehicles in the days following the time change.

Here are some things to keep in mind during time changes:

  • Plan ahead to get adequate sleep time.
  • Be aware of how the time change might affect you.
  • Be extra alert and cautious while driving.

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.