The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is asking drivers to take extra care on the roads after setting their clocks back an hour this Saturday when daylight savings time ends.
The average number of crashes in B.C. during the late afternoon commute in the two weeks following the change is 16-per-cent higher compared to the two weeks prior, according to ICBC numbers.
While the switch adds an extra hour of sleep, 30 per cent of drivers overcompensate for that additional time by staying up later, according to an ICBC survey.
We rationalize that extra hour of sleep - many of us think that we can stay awake longer, but we actually end up feeling more tired and less alert, said Dr. John Vavrik, a psychologist with ICBC. The time change is an opportunity to get some extra rest and its also a good time to think about how we can adjust our driving to the fall and winter road conditions.
Here are some additional tips for adjusting to the time change:
- The additional hours of darkness means visibility is significantly reduced for a longer period. Give yourself extra time so you arent rushing, adjust your speed to the conditions you encounter and always be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists - especially at intersections and near transit stops where pedestrians will be coming and going and may not use crosswalks.
- Prepare your vehicle for the change in weather. Clean your vehicles headlights and check that theyre all working properly, especially your rear lights. Make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid and that your wipers are in good condition.
- Keep your regular sleep-wake cycle. Go to bed at the same time you normally would so you can benefit from that extra hour of sleep. Dont assume you are more rested and alert on the road the mornings following the change as the time change can impact the quality of your sleep and affect your bodys internal clock.