ICBC urges drivers to plan ahead for Daylight Savings Time

VANCOUVER, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - As British Columbians set back their clocks this Saturday for Daylight Savings Time (DST), ICBC is reminding drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care next week due to the grogginess some people may experience.

The time change can have a significant effect on people's sleep patterns, resulting in a disruption to their circadian rhythms or 'biological clock.' When Daylight Savings ends, drivers have to adjust to a shorter day and commute in darker conditions. Combined with worsening weather and road conditions, it can be a dangerous combination. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should remember to use caution and leave extra time to get to their destinations - particularly during the Monday commute.

Crash statistics illustrate a higher driving risk the first work day after Daylight Savings ends. According to the five year average (2004-2008), on the Monday following the fall time change there were 900 crash incidents, compared to 700 incidents the Monday before the time change.

According to the five-year average, the first Monday after the fall time change saw a 29 per cent increase in crash incidents, and 52 per cent increase in casualties, compared to the Monday before the time change (2004-2008). The average cost for crash incidents following the fall time change (2004-2008) was $6.5 million.

The following are ICBC's top five fall smart driving tips:

    
    No. 1 - Be alert. Reduced light conditions can make it more difficult to
    see pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Drivers, pedestrian and
    cyclists need to be especially vigilant.

    No. 2 - Light the way. Use your headlights at all times to ensure you are
    visible to pedestrians and other vehicles. Make sure your headlights are
    clean (splattered mud can cloud them) and that all bulbs (both high and
    low beam) are working properly.

    No. 3 - Get some rest. Try to get to bed earlier - and to help yourself
    to fall asleep faster, exercise during the day, have a hot bath or shower
    before going to bed and treat yourself to a book and a warm glass of
    milk.

    No. 4 - Plan ahead. Plan to take more time driving to and from work next
    week. Try to get in the habit of listening to traffic updates or checking
    drivebc.ca before heading out.

    No. 5 - Slow down and keep your distance. The roads will be busy, and
    excessive speed is the number one cause of crashes. Remember it takes
    longer to stop on wet roads or on roads covered with leaves or mud.
    

SOURCE ICBC

For further information: For further information: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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INSURANCE CORPORATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

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