Daylight savings increases car crash risk

Journal Staff

Lambton Public Health is warning drivers that the loss of one hour due to daylight savings time can cause fatigue, putting drivers and pedestrians at a higher risk than normal.

“Immediately following DST, everyone is at increased risk of a crash,” said Kelley Elliott, health promoter at the Lambton Public Health and chair of the Lambton Safe Roads Committee. “One hour may not seem like much, but it can impact your focus on the road.”

The Lambton Public Health encourages drivers to be extra careful for the first three days following the time change on March 12.

The Ministry of Transportation notes that 26% of road fatalities and injuries are due to fatigue, while a University of B.C. study shows a one-hour loss of sleep during the transition period increases the risk of collisions by as much as 7%.

Drivers are encouraged to go to bed earlier prior to daylight savings time and adjust their schedule accordingly.

It is also recommended that drivers watch for signs of fatigue, which include excessive yawning, drowsiness, sore eyes, missing road signs, slowed reaction times, inconsistent speeds and loss of concentration. As always, Lambton Public Health reminds drivers to avoid drinking alcohol, as well as to understand the side effects of any medications.