Daylight Savings Time can be the worst. While it’s awesome in the autumn when we all get to gain a magical extra hour of sleep, it’s not so fun in the spring when one whole hour of your life vanishes in the early morning hours like a sobered up Tinder date. Of course, you can’t feel too bad about the lost hour because time is nothing but an illusion after all – not that knowing that makes you feel any better the morning after springing forward and losing an hour.
Daylight Savings Time isn’t just a nuisance, though: it can be dangerous. Accident rates have been found to spike in the days following Daylight Savings Time change due to the lost sleep. To help drivers negotiate the time change easier, AAA has recently issued some tips and warnings about how to stay safe during the time change. Most of the warnings concern staying more vigilant than usual due to the ways the time change affects light conditions and the extra drowsiness the lost sleep can cause. AAA Northeast’s Manager of Traffic Safety Programs Diana Imondi says that the time change can alter the amount of sunlight drivers encounter during commutes, creating different driving conditions:
As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits. Some drivers may suddenly find themselves driving into the rising or setting sun and there may be more sun glare during commuting hours.
To help mitigate these dangers, AAA recommends approaching all intersections and crosswalks more slowly than usual, following at a greater distance, and using headlights at all times. Pedestrians can also be affected, so AAA issued the same warnings for those commuters who have to traverse crosswalks. While these guidelines might end up preventing a few accidents, the real conversation needs to be about the continued usefulness of an outdated and dangerous practice. Is it about time to stop messing with time?