Drivers reminded to be cautious after time change

The rate of auto accidents climbs 23 percent the day after a time change.

March 9, 2011
by Canadian Automotive Review staff

BURNABY, BC: This Sunday, March 13, we move our clocks forward for the annual change to daylight savings time.

A spike in road risk often accompanies this seasonal time change. British Columbia crash statistics show that on the Monday after the time change, there are 23 percent more crashes than on the Monday before the time change.

Fatigue-related collisions are very common and range from hitting a pedestrian in an intersection or rear-ending the vehicle in front of you, to veering off of the road and into a parked car or a telephone pole.

Sleep is what the body really needs to be able to function properly. Time changes reflect a change in social clocks not biological ones and studies show that our circadian rhythms (body clocks) don’t adjust to these changes naturally.   Fatigue impairs brain functions as much as alcohol, reducing the ability of the mind and body to respond quickly and accurately.

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation offers the following tips for drivers:

  • Avoid caffeine or other substances to wake you up because once they wear off you may feel even more fatigued.
  • Drive with your headlights on during the darker morning commute for better visibility.
  • Be aware of the increased number of people out walking in the evenings taking advantage of the extra daylight, especially in residential areas.