This weekend, daylight saving time comes into effect and we “spring forward” by setting the clocks ahead 1 hour. For many of us, daylight savings time signals the coming of spring weather and enjoying more daylight hours, but did you know there are safety risks associated with losing an hour?
Although an hour doesn’t seem like much difference, it can disrupt our schedules and affect our energy levels for a few days as our bodies adjust. In fact, losing just two hours of sleep is the equivalent of having three beers!
Fatigue caused by insufficient sleep is proven to affect workplace and roadway safety. The day after we adjust our schedules to account for “spring forward” and “fall back” sees an increase in fatal traffic accidents and in workplace accidents.
Our employees operate heavy equipment, concrete mixer trucks, dump trucks, and hot mix asphalt plant machinery at all hours of the day and night, so it’s especially important to be vigilant for disruptions caused by daylight savings time and to take steps to mitigate them.
Here are some tips we incorporate to counteract the increased safety risk that comes with the daylight savings time change:
– Set your clock ahead early the night before daylight savings time, and then go to bed at your regular time so that you can stay on your normal sleep schedule.
– Use extra caution while driving. Because the darker part of the day will be in the morning hours, know that other drivers will also be adjusting to the time change and may be more prone to mistakes. Defensive driving is key!
– As always, don’t use your cell phone will driving. It’s dangerous at any time, but particularly when most people on the road are already drowsy and fatigued from losing an hour of sleep.
– For those with little ones, the time change can be particularly grueling. If at all possible, help them get to bed earlier and set out their clothes for the morning, set their alarm, and build in a little extra cushion in the morning schedule to help ease the transition.