British Summer Time: How it may affect your driving

Will The Change To British Summer Time Affect Your Driving?

red alarm clock

Despite the recent snow and ice brought by the Beast from the East, springtime is upon us and, as with every year, the end of March in 2018 will see the clocks jump forward by an hour, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST).

The extra hours of daylight will no doubt help learner drivers squeeze in extra driving lessons with their instructors to help them get closer to passing their test.

When do the clocks go forward?

This year the change from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to British Summer Time (BST) officially takes place at 1 am on Sunday, March 25.

Unfortunately, this does mean that you’ll lose an hour in bed over the weekend but you will see a noticeable change over the next few weeks with more daylight in the evenings as Daylight Savings Time takes effect.

Having to change your clocks around the house might take you a couple of days, but if you really wanted to wait it out until the clocks ‘fall back’ you’ll be waiting until October 28th.

British Summer Time first came into existence thanks to the Summer Time Act, which was passed by Parliament back in 1916 and changing of the clocks was first introduced during World War One to save on coal usage.

Spring forward, fall back

In general, we tend to think of the clocks going back as having more of an impact on our day to day lives, with the amount of daylight in the evenings dramatically shortened.

However, you should still be alert in the first few days after BST kicks in as one US study found a 6.3 per cent increase in fatal crashes after the clocks had gone forward.

It seems that each time the clocks change, either forward or back, there are campaigners who call for an alternative solution to GMT and BST to be found for the benefit of businesses, public health and road safety.

Does the clock change affect your driving?

Both Brake and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) have called for the introduction of Single/Double British Summertime (SDST), meaning we adopt the same timing as Central European Time (CET) – 1 hour ahead of GMT during the summer and 2 hours ahead during the winter.

They believe that creating lighter evenings all year round will result in fewer people being killed or injured in road accidents, reducing the number of accidents occurring during the evening rush hour.

While overhauling the clocks in this way may not be possible, if you find yourself tired after losing out on an hour’s worth of sleep, you might be more likely to be at risk of an accident so try and go to bed an hour earlier if you can and plan any journeys in advance;  leaving with plenty of time to arrive so you’re not rushing.

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