This year DST starts in the U.S. on Sunday March 13, and in the UK and Europe on Sunday March 27, when clocks are put forward one hour at 2:00 a.m. This means more light in the evening and, initially, less light in the morning.
For drivers, there are a few things to be aware of and some ACTIONS to take to stay safe:
- The start of DST is associated with increased crash risk. Studies show that sleep disruption is one of the reasons for this, since many people get less sleep on the night of the clock change. You can prepare for the clock change by going to bed about 10-15 minutes earlier every night the week of DST and adjusting your clock earlier on the evening of the clock change, so you’re not tempted to stay up until the usual time.
- It’s recommended that you avoid driving during peak times for fatigue-related collisions (2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., and in the afternoon between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.) following the clock change. Adjust your regular schedule if necessary for the first few days of DST.
- The low position of the sun is also considered a risk factor for drivers. Keeping your windshield clean inside and out and wearing polarized sunglasses can help to reduce glare.
- Avoid distractions. This is important for any trip, regardless of time of day or time of year. However, it’s crucial not to add any other risk factors into the mix at the start of DST when you’re already at greater risk of reduced concentration.
- Keep your distance. This is important during any trip, but it’s helpful to increase your “buffer” space when you know other drivers on the road might be suffering the effects of the clock change, which may result in delayed reactions.
- Watch your speed. Again, it’s always important to travel at a safe speed but allowing yourself extra reaction time will further increase your safety as your body adjusts to the time change.