Ottawa, Ontario — Traffic accidents can increase by as much as 23 percent in the week immediately following the start of Daylight Savings Time (DST), according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
The seasonal increase is largely due to the impact switch to DST has on overall driver responsiveness and fatigue.
“Springing ahead can cause all sorts of problems for people, including loss of sleep or accumulation of sleep debt and adjustment in the circadian clock, making it harder to fall asleep at night,” said Dr. Charles Samuels, the medical director of Calgary’s Centre for Sleep and Human Performance.
Further, the DST change comes at a time of seasonal weather volatility where conditions can vary from day to day and hour to hour.
“One day, we’ll see snow land on the ground, and the next, we’ll see torrential rain. One of the biggest spring hazards during DST is the glare from the sun which can hinder driving, especially during peak hours. As temperatures increase, we also see more cyclists and pedestrians on the roads, as well as more construction projects, both of which cause more congestion and add extra hazards.”
Daylight Savings Time (DST) will begin tomorrow, Sunday, March 14 at 2 a.m.