In 2016, daylight saving time — often (incorrectly) called daylight savings time — will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.
So if you’re staying in, you’ll want to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night, Nov. 5. And if you’re staying out to milk the time change for all it’s got, you’ll want to turn your clocks back to 1 a.m. as soon as 2 a.m. hits.
End Of Daylight Saving Time Can Be Deadly
Early next Sunday morning most of those in the United States will turn their clocks back one hour for the end of Daylight Saving Time. Most of us think: “Fantastic! I get another hour of sleep”; and yes you will. However, there is a huge difference between the “society clock” and the “biological clock” we all work from. During such time changes there is statistically an increase in safety incidents.
In addition to setting your clock backward for daylight saving time, remember to change your smoke alarm batteries
1. Turn your clock backward 1 hour
2. Change your smoke alarm battery
Daylight saving time ends this Sunday at 2 a.m. While “falling back” gives us an extra hour of sleep and more light when we get up in the mornings — all good things — the end of daylight saving can also create driving hazards.
Longer nights induce drowsy driving
Our bodies’ internal clocks tell us to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light. But with the clocks moving back an hour, sunset also comes earlier than before. Couple that with the ever-increasing shorter days as our side of the hemisphere moves further away from the sun and we get long, dark nights ahead.
Since darkness signals a natural inclination for sleep, it stands to reason that early nightfall makes us more prone to drowsy driving — especially as we adjust to evening commutes during the first week of the time change. It’s not a coincidence that Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® occurs as daylight saving ends this year.
Darker roads mean increased chances for car accidents
According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are 3 times greater at night than during the day. While drowsy driving and drunk drivers do play a role, decreased visibility is the main culprit.
Think about it: ninety percent of your reaction time depends on your ability to see what’s around you. And since your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision decrease after sundown, your chances for a car accident tend to increase.
Driving tips for the days ahead
Fortunately, safely navigating the long nights ahead is easy. Here are a few simple tips.
- Prep your car for nighttime driving. It may be common sense, but it bears repeating. Check and clean your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and signal lights. After all, you want to see and be seen by other drivers on the road.
- Know when to use your low beams and high beams. Use your low beams when you need to see about 250 feet in front of you and high beams when your visibility range is 350 to 500 feet. And, of course, dim your high beams when following another driver or approaching an oncoming car.
- Watch out for animals on the road. Deer and other animals are most active at night, particularly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. And since more deer-related collisions occur in November than any other month, be extra careful in the weeks following daylight saving time.
- Get rest. If you drive a lot on a regular basis, avoid the temptation to stay up extra late this Saturday night — even if you do get that bonus hour.
Safety in the Home
The change to and from daylight saving time is a great opportunity to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As you are adjusting your clocks, test each detector in your home according to the instructions provided in the manual. If your units utilize batteries as either a primary or backup source, this is the perfect time to change those batteries.
Other safety tips for the home are as follows:
- Flammable Materials – You may have a collection of flammable materials – such as gasoline or lighter fluid – that you used quite frequently over the summer months. Now that you will be storing them for a while, make sure they are stored safely and correctly. Flammable materials should never be stored inside the home. Anything you do not plan to keep for next summer should be safely discarded through your local municipality.
- Exterior Lighting – Exterior lighting becomes crucial when the sun goes down. Since winter nights are longer, check all of your exterior lights to make sure they are working. Replace any bulbs that have burned out.
- Ice and Snow – Ice and snow can build upon your steps and walkways very quickly. Keep a bag of deicer handy, along with a shovel. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecast so that you can proactively apply deicer when appropriate.
Fall Back: Home Preparedness Checklist for Time Change Sunday
As you circle the house, resetting clocks to Standard Time, make time for this short safety checklist. It’ll see you into the winter from a safe–and organized–home:
- Change the clocks, change the batteries. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives … if they’re powered on by a fresh battery. Safety experts recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year–so celebrate Time Change Sunday with fresh batteries all around.Energy savings hint: don’t toss the replaced batteries just yet. While they’re likely not fully charged, replaced batteries can still do duty in children’s toys, media players or electronic devices. Squeeze the last drop of power out of them before you recycle!
- Replace light bulbs. Long dark winter evenings call for a little illumination! Since you’ll have stepladders out to reach smoke detectors and clocks on Time Change Sunday, double up on safety (and energy savings) by checking for light bulbs and fixtures.Consider replacing conventional bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LCD bulbs. The U.S. Environmental Protection estimates that replacing standard bulbs with energy-efficient ones saves over $30 in electricity costs over their lifetime.
- Prepare for cold and flu season. Cold weather is here and so are colds and the flu; will your household be prepared if illness strikes?Check the medicine cabinet, and assess stocks of over-the-counter medications. Do you have sufficient non-aspirin fever reducers, cough syrup, and decongestants needed to fight colds or flu? Has the thermometer gone missing? Be sure Dr. Mom is ready at the first sign of seasonal illness!
In the pantry, a stockpile of canned soup and lemon-lime soda can ease cold symptoms and fight off dehydration–and don’t forget to stock up on disposable tissues for all those coughs and sneezes!
- Make or review your family emergency plan. If an emergency strikes, will your family know what to do?
Review your family’s emergency plan, or create one for the first time. Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post an Emergency Information Page near the phone.