This Sunday, November 6th at 2:00am, we’ll set our clocks back an hour – for what may be the last time. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate voted to permanently implement Daylight Savings Time. If this legislation is passed by the House of Representatives, the full-time switch to Daylight Savings Time could take effect as early as March 2023.
While it may be exciting to get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, the change in the clocks can still be detrimental to your sleeping patterns and impact your health and awareness. According to sleepfoundation.org, the disruption to your circadian rhythm combined with darker mornings can delay your sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to wake up. This can cause you to feel more tired in the morning and extra alert in the evening when you’re trying to wind down. Poor sleep patterns can affect health and how we function during the day, which can contribute to more dangerous and reckless conditions on the road.
All or a portion of your morning and evening commutes will occur in the dark, so it is important to be more cautious while driving in the evening. Stay alert for animals, and make sure to get your headlights checked.
Here are a few safety tips from the National Safety Council for commuting before or after daylight hours.
- Calibrate/aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean
- Dim your dashboard lights
- Look away from oncoming headlights
- If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective
- Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
- Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time