This past weekend, the clocks turn back one hour. While the additional hour of sleep was welcomed by many, the altered sleep pattern and increased darkness during commute times increases the risk of accidents. PIA Law suggests that you keep the following safety tips in mind:
1) Adjust your sleep pattern gradually and avoid going into the time change with a sleep deficit. While we gain an hour of sleep, many people’s internal clocks have trouble adjusting to the new schedule resulting in unexpected fatigue.
2) When commuting home after work, be aware of the reduced visibility. Take your time and stay alert to pedestrians and cyclists who many not be as visible.
3) Whether a pedestrian or a cyclist, consider wearing bright or reflective clothing that will make you more visible to drivers. Use caution in cross walks – remember that drivers will not be able to see you as clearly during the darkened commute time.
4) If commuting long distances, be wary of fatigue. Do not operate your vehicle if you are not fully alert.