Daylight Savings Time Arrives

Don’t forget to “Spring Forward” this Sunday…..

On the second Sunday each March, at 2 a.m., Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins when we turn clocks forward one hour to 3 a.m. Sunrise and sunset will be one hour later until the first Sunday in November when DST ends.

Daylight saving time was proposed by New Zealand scientist George Hudson in 1895, and first used in Germany. It was created to cut energy costs; by having more working hours during daylight, money could be saved on costly candle wax in the early days, and then later, on electricity costs. Canada first observed DST in 1908. DST was phased out but re-introduced during the Second World War.

Prior to 2006, Canada had observed DST three weeks later. This change was introduced to keep Canada’s DST consistent with the United States and their Energy Policy Act of 2005 that that extended DST to increase energy savings.

More than 70 countries and one-fifth of the world’s seven billion people follow DST. However all of Canada does not including Saskatchewan, parts of B.C.,and Ontario and Quebec’s north shore.  In the United States, Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe DST. China, India, Japan and several other nations also don’t adhere to DST.

DST saves energy, but it also saves lives as our evenings are lighter for longer periods of time so highways are brighter during the drive home.  However, there is a well-documented increase in traffic accidents on the Monday after DST begins.  Losing one hour of sleep is compounded by the fact that many people are already feeling the effects of sleep deprivation. A recent study found that Canada and the U.S. tied for the third most sleep-deprived countries in the world, with nearly a third of Canadians feeling like they don’t get enough sleep.

Some tips for increased safety next Monday:

  • Be alert while driving; don’t drive if you are overtired. The shift from “drowsy” to “asleep” can happen much quicker than most people realize
  • Ensure all interior lights are off in the car and that on-board navigation devices are dimmed so the bright lights don’t distract you
  • Be more aware of other drivers, who may be driving while drowsy.  Pedestrians should also use extra caution when crossing the street.