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Your Guide For Adjusting to DST & March Break Safety Tips

Originally published by the lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates, experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims, at https://www.awaxmanlaw.ca/disability/daylight-savings-time.

This year, elementary school and high school students will enjoy their March Break the week of March 15, 2021 the day after DST begins.

As a road user, it is always important to exercise caution as a road user, whether you are driving a car, riding a bicycle or walking at an intersection. It is known that there is a correlation between the beginning of DST and an increase in car accidents.

It is also known that the start of daylight saving time causes a change to our sleep cycles, a.k.a. our circadian rhythm. The loss of one hour of sleep does make a difference, as most people already do not get adequate amounts of sleep. The “Spring Forward” can be more difficult for people who suffer from psychological conditions and insomnia/sleep disorders and it may take longer for them to adjust to the time change.

There are ways to help your system adjust to the time change and to get a better night’s sleep.

  1. Try going to bed earlier, using short intervals of time, until you become accustomed to the “new time”.
  2. Wake up at the same time every day.
  3. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon.
  4. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  5. Avoid taking naps during the day.
  6. Eat your meals at the same time daily and avoid eating too close to bedtime.
  7. Avoid “blue screens” one hour before bed (computers, iPads, tables, smart phones etc.).
  8. Avoid watching television too close to bed time, and do not watch anything stimulating.
  9. Sleep in a cool, dark environment.
  10. Listen to some calming music or a meditation to help you fall asleep.
And with students on March Break, it is important for drivers to be on alert for increased pedestrians at intersections and on the roads/streets.
Here are some safety tips for everyone:
  1. Check intersections carefully (look left, centre, right) before proceeding through the intersection.
  2. Go slowly in residential areas, school zones, near parks and playgrounds and be on the lookout for children playing in the streets.
  3. Obey the posted the speed limits and rules of the road (i.e. use our turn signals, obey traffic lights).
  4. Pay attention to the weather and drive accordingly (March weather can be unpredictable!).
  5. Don’t drive distracted!
  6. Avoid driving drowsy.
  7. Be careful near ponds and ice patches so you can avoid injuries.
  8. Pedestrians should use crosswalks to cross the street and marked pedestrian crosswalks where available and cross at actual intersections if possible, to avoid jaywalking.
  9. Don’t walk and text when crossing at an intersection or crosswalk.
  10. Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at night.
  11. If you are a cyclist, make sure it is in good working order and has a reflector and a bell, so you are seen and heard.