Important Reminder: Daylight Saving Time Ends on Sunday, Nov. 3. This means  you will need to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Sunday night. This change in time may require some adjustment to your sleeping and waking schedule in the first few days. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that there is a slight increase in the number of car accidents and injuries on the road on the Monday following the time change. You can read more about this study here. 

Why? Changing the clock by an hour can impact our awareness and focus. This is especially true behind the wheel. To avoid injury on the road, follow these simple steps:

  • Before you depart the driveway, make all adjustments to your mirrors, seatbelt, chair, and technology. Your eyes should be focused on the road.
  • Do NOT text and drive. Cell phones are the leading cause of accidents behind the wheel. If you must take a call or text, pull off the road to a safe place. Taking your eyes off the road for a moment can prevent you from making necessary adjustments to properly adapt to road conditions.
  • Note that since Daylight Saving shifts the daylight, you will be driving home in the dark every night. Make sure that your headlights are clean and functioning.
  • Also note that the angles of the sun change. Make sure you have sunglasses, or a functioning sun visor, to use while driving during the day. If you are not comfortable driving with glare, pick a route that doesn’t require you to drive into the sun, or avoid driving at certain times of the day.
  • Sleep. At the minimum, you should be getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Proper sleep will help you adjust to the time change and will keep you focused and alert during the day.

So…if daylight saving causes an increased safety risk, why do we have it?

Daylight Saving Time started as a fuel saving measure in World War I in Germany. Other countries, like the United States, adopted this practice as part of the war effort. The idea was to shift the daylight hours into the evening in the summer months. With more light at night, homeowners would spend less time with lights on in the house at night. Daylight Saving Time became permanent in the 1960’s by an act of Congress.

But, does it work as a fuel saving measure?
Most sources suggest that it doesn’t. Studies show that while Daylight Saving reduces electric lighting use, there has been an increase in gas, AC, and heating use each year since Daylight Saving was introduced.

If Daylight Saving doesn’t work, how do we get rid of it?
We don’t. Nationally, Congress would have to enact an Act to abolish Daylight Saving. Now, several states are pressing their legislators to abolish Daylight Saving. At this point, if there is abolition of Daylight Saving, it is done on a state by state basis. As of today, Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that don’t observe Daylight Saving Time.

Image result for clock images with fall leaves

Image credit: 123RF.com