Can daylight saving time affect drivers?

Daylight Driver

The onset of daylight saving time at this point in the year marks the official move into wintertime. Are you someone who looks forward to an extra hour in bed or who sees it as an opportunity to stay up an hour later?

It’s only an hour…

The effect of daylight saving time can actually be more dramatic that you’d think. It’s not so much the one-hour difference as much as the change in light. The effect occurs particularly early in the morning if when you’re getting up and used to daylight, you’re actually encountering darkness.

Be prepared

For many the effect is negligible but for some it’s quite profound and, if you’re a professional driver with safety as your watchword it’s well worth being prepared.

It may be that you can use the onset of daylight saving time to act as a catalyst for making some positive changes in your daily routine. Adults aged 18+ should really be getting between 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night, so if this isn’t the case perhaps it’s time for a change?

Other good tips for being prepared for the shift in light include –

  • Staying hydrated
  • Eat high protein breakfast/lunches
  • Have dinner centered around carbs
  • 3 days leading up to the change, gradually move your clocks forward or backward 20 min

Why do we do it?

Daylight saving time was first adopted by Germany in April 1916 as a way to attempt to preserve coal during wartime. Britain followed suit for the same reason about a month later and it was a process adopted across much of the rest of the world in the intervening years.

The idea was controversial from the outset and remains so to this very day. Twice yearly the same arguments surface. Many people are convinced that there are no benefits whatsoever to the change and even less so in the modern age.

Winston Churchill once observed that it enlarged “the opportunities for the pursuit of health and happiness among the millions of people who live in this country.” Others however dubbed it “daylight slaving time”.

Happy winter

Whatever your thoughts on the subject may we be amongst the first to hope that you winter well. Enjoy your extra hour this weekend, however you decide to make use of it, but be sure to be mindful of the impact the change in light can have on your wellbeing and performance, particularly when you get behind the wheel.