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ICBC warns drivers to be careful, uptick in crashes after DST

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Now that our clocks have moved foward one hour, ICBC is warning you to be extra careful on the roads this week. The crown corporation says there is typically an uptick in crashes, especially on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time goes into effect.

Experts say springing ahead by just one hour can have a dramatic effect on your regular sleep schedule, which means many of you will be very tired when you get behind the wheel.

Leslie Dickson with ICBC says that means people will likely have a hard time concentrating, they won’t be as alert and their reaction time will be slower. “Often a real danger can be that people often believe they don’t feel tired or aren’t tired or fatigued, so they are not keeping aware of that when they’re getting on the road on Monday morning.”

“You may feel fine but your circadian rhythm has been significantly disrupted which can affect your alertness while driving. The change in our sleep cycle can cause unique dangers on our road and impact our driving skills,” she explains.

Dickson adds it’s tough to adjust because the mornings will still be dark. “According to a survey we conducted recently, more than one-third of BC drivers admit they feel less alert after the time change. So, our hope is people would have gone to bed early in anticipation of the time change and that they’re also aware of how their body adapts to the time change and how it could affect their ability to concentrate and avoid hazards.”

You can also expect to see more pedestrians and cyclists on the road, especially as the weather warms up. “In recent weeks, we have become accustomed to earlier sunrises and having brighter morning commutes and then with the time change, drivers need to expect darker morning commutes and be aware that there are more vulnerable road users and to watch out for them because they’ll be harder to see now,” says Dickson.

As always, News1130 will have you covered with updates in Traffic every 10 minutes on the ones to get you where you need to go safely.