Daylight Savings Time is almost here! The clocks go forward one hour at 2 am on every second Sunday in March. We will lose an hour sleep this weekend but we will gain extra daylight hours for the duration of summer.
However, losing just that one hour of sleep can be a safety hazard. It’s a good idea to be aware of the kind of toll Daylight Savings can take. Statistically there are more injuries on the Monday following the switch to daylight Savings Time. Two separate studies have found that the March switch to Daylight Savings Time resulted in 40 minutes less sleep for American workers, a 5.7 percent increase in workplace injuries and nearly 68 percent more work days lost to injury. It’s a smart idea to exercise a bit of extra caution for a few days following the time change. Just take a moment to slow down and thoroughly evaluate your tasks before doing them.
But despite the potential safety issues, there are still some distinct advantages to Daylight Saving Time:
- There are fewer traffic accidents during Daylight Savings. Studies show that Daylight Savings reduces traffic accidents by close to one percent.
- Crime rates are lower during Daylight Savings. According to a study the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, crime is consistently less during periods of Daylight Saving Time than during comparable periods in standard time. Darkness can be a contributing factor to many crimes such as muggings.
- People really like Daylight Savings! A study has shown that 68% of the 2.7 million Australians polled liked Daylight Savings Time (called Summer Time in Australia). The primary reason given was simply because people like to enjoy longer summer evenings.
Daylight savings is also a great semi-annual reminder to do some important maintenance around your house. Here is a great checklist to refer back to:
- Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms – or replace them as needed. A CO detector should be replaced every 5 years and a smoke alarm every 10.
- Check on the contents of your home emergency kit (water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets). Replace items as needed.
- Check your car emergency kit and replace items as needed.
- Check the batteries in your flashlights (even the ones in your emergency kits).
- Tackle your medicine cabinet. Throw out any outdated medicines whether they are prescription or over-the-counter.
- Check around your home for any hazardous materials that you might have forgotten about (like old cans of paint) and discard of them properly.
It is a great idea to take care of a few essential household chores before the spring season begins. Put your mind at ease and spring forward with the knowledge that your home is safe and secure.