While you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep, the loss of one hour of light in the evenings lines up with when road collision risks are typically the highest. For all road users, the first week after DST ends can be a hard adjustment — but anticipating earlier darkness in the evening helps proactively manage the risk on your commute.
Take a look at these tips on how to stay safe through the DST transition, whether you’re a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian.
Drivers: Stay alert behind the wheel
In the Onlia Safety Index — a study hosted on the Angus Reid Forum — we found that a whopping 76% of drivers find it difficult to spot pedestrians and cyclists at night. The earlier nightfall makes it critically important to take it slow and be cautious behind the wheel; reducing your speed allows for better response time, and minimizes the risk of serious injury if there is a collision.
DST coincides with the start of Canada’s nastiest weather, so be sure to double-check that your vehicle’s fluids are topped up and all lights work. This bit of maintenance will ensure you have prime visibility in darker hours.
With the early sunset and probable bad weather, you don’t need any other distractions on the road. Stow your phone and other distractions out of sight to keep you focused on the road, and on the lookout for other road users. It also keeps you tapped into other hazards; wildlife may be on the move, or weather conditions rapidly changing.