Despite calls for years now to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent and even proposed legislation in Congress to do so, the semi-annual time changes continue throughout most of the country, including Tennessee. The next time change is coming up on Nov. 5 when DST will end, and we’ll fall back an hour.
It’s been well documented that these time changes of just an hour in the middle of the night in the fall and spring have a very real effect on the human body. The disturbance to our sleep/wake cycles along with the change in daylight hours are largely to blame.
What to watch out for on the road
Even if you don’t feel any effect on your body when we lose an hour soon, it will likely affect the conditions in which you drive in the morning and late afternoon/evening. You may suddenly be driving into the sun on your way to work or to drop off your kids at school. You may be driving home from work into the sunset or even in darkness as you go home in the evening.
Even if you take appropriate precautions and allow yourself a little more time and space around vehicles on your commute, you’ll be on the road with people who take weeks to adjust to that hour’s time change or who don’t think to turn on their headlights (if they’re not automatic) on their evening commute.
As DST ends, you’re also going to be dealing with other drivers who may have a more difficult time than you adjusting to these changes. If they don’t have automatic headlights, they may be driving without them without realizing it. People who have difficulty driving in the dark and generally avoid it may find themselves on the road after the sun has set. If you walk or bike, be sure you wear bright (or better yet) reflective clothing and shoes.
Remember that the end of DST is no excuse for any driver’s negligence or recklessness. If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash caused by one of these drivers, you have the right to seek compensation for your financial costs, losses and other damages. Having experienced legal guidance can help you get that while you focus on healing.