According to Joseph Rose of the Oregonian, springing forward can cause dangers on the road for Portland commuters. Below are his five things to reflect on as our bodies, schedules and clocks get use to the new time:
- The Oregon Department of Transportation’s crash data shows that fatal crashes always jump during the month when Daylight Saving Time goes into effect, with Monday and Friday typically being the deadliest days on the road. The loss of an extra hour of sleep makes Monday show a spike in traffic crashes. The NHTSA says drowsy driving is the cause of over 100,000 crashes a year. In 2013, 12 people died in crashes involving drowsy driving in Oregon.
- Although daylight lasts longer during DST, the beginning of the transition, when morning darkness actually lingers a little longer, can be hazardous for bicyclists and pedestrians. When we saw daylight at 6:30am last week and now with an extra hour of darkness, cyclists will have to make sure their lights are on and working. Pedestrians are encouraged to wear reflective and light clothing to be more easily visible. Drivers should pay close attention for pedestrians and bicyclists on or near the roadways.
- With rain in the forecast this week, it is an ideal time to change the windshield wiper blades on your car. Many mechanics say “change your clocks, change your blades” to avoid potentially hazardous streaking caused by worn out wipers. Spending a couple extra dollars on better quality windshield wipers can help save a life when driving in limited visibility conditions. Sun glare can also increase around Daylight Savings Time so it is important to have a clean windshield for maximum visibility.
- Longer days mean more people will be spending time outside this week. Children, especially, will be out enjoying the daylight after school, so it is important to be mindful of that during the evening commute.
- Should Daylight Savings be permanent in the Northwest? Do you think it would help prevent traffic crashes?