Spring ahead affects drivers

As we move our clocks forward an hour Saturday night for daylight saving time, ICBC asking drivers to adapt to the time change

As we get ready to move our clocks forward an hour Saturday night for daylight saving time, ICBC is asking drivers to adapt to the time change to reduce the impact it could have on their driving skills.

According to an ICBC survey, 34 per cent of B.C. drivers admit that the time shift does affect them and makes them feel less alert after the time change. Studies show that the switch to daylight saving time can have a dramatic effect on disrupting our regular sleep cycle as it puts us out of sync with our circadian rhythm.

“The change in our sleep cycle can cause unique dangers on our roads as some drivers will feel more fatigued than usual,” said Dr. John Vavrik, a psychologist at ICBC.

“Fatigue is especially dangerous when combined with distractions so it’s important that drivers limit any potential distractions behind the wheel.”

Here are ICBC’s tips to help you adjust to the time change:

Plan to get to bed early on Saturday evening and go to bed at your regular time on Sunday to be ready for Monday commutes.

Be aware of how your body adapts to the time change and how that may affect your ability to concentrate and avoid hazards. Studies have shown that time changes can have an impact on the quality of our sleep due to more nighttime restlessness. While you may feel fine, your circadian rhythm can still be significantly disrupted affecting your alertness while driving.

After many weeks of early sunrises, expect darker morning commutes and more vulnerable road users – cyclists and pedestrians – on the road as the weather warms up.

Prepare your vehicle for the change in conditions and darker morning commutes. Clean your vehicle’s headlights and check that they are all working properly, both high and low beam and rear lights.