Lighter mornings and evenings are certainly making me feel like spring is on its way. I am sure we will all be glad to see the start of some better weather and take advantage of the lighter mornings and especially the evenings.
Personally I am looking forward to the clocks springing forward an hour to take advantage of longer daylight hours – with a new dog in the family being able to get out with him after work is much more fun in the daylight. Does changing the hour have a positive effect on road safety though? – Well yes, I believe it does.
As you would expect casualty rates seem to be higher during rush hour when there are more of us on the roads, however there is a trend of pedestrian deaths rising during the months we are under GMT and during the shortest periods of daylight and falling again when the days get longer and BST comes into force again.
I know during these winter months we can say the weather might also play its part in the statistics but driving in daylight certainly reduces the incident rates making our roads safer places for all of us to be.
There is a lot of talk about Brexit at the moment – however studies show moving to Central European Time will reduce the number of people hurt and killed on our roads, every autumn when the clocks fall back and the nights start a little earlier than we would like, road casualties’ rise, with vulnerable road users being affected.
The worst, these statistics are not just numbers they are huge changes to people’s lives – sometimes taking an unthinkable path for many destroying lives and families, many of which could be saved by changing our time zone.
Moving to CET would produce other benefits for us too - It has been estimated that a switch would reduce CO2 pollution by at least 447,000 tonnes each year (that’s the same as more than 50,000 cars all driving around the world) cutting our domestic electricity bills which must be a plus point for all of us.
Having lighter evenings in the winter would also keep us fitter by encouraging us to be out and about more, benefiting all of us, with perhaps the elderly benefiting the most allowing them to feel safer to be out longer which in turn might improve their fitness and reduce their dependency on others which in turn would impact on the NHS costs also!
Bringing it back to driving, personally I find driving in daylight much easier on the eyes these days (my optician says its normal to prefer daylight driving as we age – the cheek of him!)
Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart’s commercial learning and development manager