ASK GARY: What Does Daylight Savings Time Mean for Drivers?
Daylight Savings Time this Sunday means we all have to adjust with waking up an hour earlier. And while it may be a minor annoyance to some, for others the extra strain of earlier mornings can lead to greater difficulty on the road. It has become much easier to forget about the hour shift due to our increased dependence on cell phones as clocks, which could be problematic for the early risers. However, given some prior notice and preparation, you can make sure the worst of the time change doesn’t affect you.
There has been a general trend in the amount of injuries that occur the Monday following Daylight Savings, and it is largely assumed to be the result of decreased sleep time. I would suggest going to bed earlier this weekend (luckily the bad weather might give us a good reason to do so), so the transition on Monday isn’t as bad. For anyone who has to get on the road early, take a look at our previous post on defensive driving –it may have originally been intended to address distracted drivers, but applies to tired drivers just as well.
So as you change your clock in preparation for daylight saving time this weekend, make sure you prepare yourself for the new drive time. Advancing the clocks an hour means early morning commuters may be spending more time driving in the dark — something many of haven’t had to do for months. The simplest ways to mitigate the increased risk is by making sure to keep your headlights clean. It goes without saying to use your headlights whenever possible, and to slow down when the road becomes especially unclear.
Enjoy your extra hour of daylight and stay safe!