Daylight Saving Time—Safety Risks and What to Do About Them

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This Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (remember to “spring forward” on Saturday night!). While many of us hail DST as a precursor to spring and to warmer weather, the national time change can also present a few safety risks. Let’s look at some things to watch for, and how to improve your overall safety during the time change.

Risks to Health

According to a report by CNN, the risk for stroke statistically increases by 8 percent during the first two days after the switch to Daylight Saving Time (for seniors over age 65, the risk is actually 20 percent higher)—and a 10 percent increased risk for heart attack. Experts believe the disruption of our circadian rhythm may likely be to blame for this phenomenon, as the risk decreases as our bodies adapt to the time change. To reduce this risk, look for ways to “ease into the change”—go ahead and sleep in on Sunday if you can, then take a nap Sunday afternoon. When attempting to go to bed an hour earlier, avoid eating and computer screens for a couple of hours before bedtime to improve your chances of going to sleep.

Workplace Injuries

Losing that hour of sleep may have serious repercussions in the workplace, according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Studies have shown a spike in work-related injuries of 5.7 percent during the days following the switch to Daylight Saving. To compensate and minimize this risk, use extra caution when performing duties at work that could cause injury—or avoid them entirely. In addition, practice the steps mentioned above to ease into the time change more safely.

Driving Risks

Changes in daylight patterns can always affect safe driving habits—both in the morning when it’s darker than normal, and in the evening when you may be facing sun glare that wasn’t there the day before. Be mindful of these changes when you make your commute to work after the time switch, and pay closer attention to the roads until you’ve adapted.

If you sustain an injury at work or on the road due to someone’s negligence, we may be able to help. Call our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to learn more.