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Daylight Savings Time Can Be Dangerous

cloverThere is certainly much to celebrate in the month of March this year: the arrival of Spring with Daylight Savings Time and St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, these very things can also make March one of the most dangerous months on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a sharp increase in accidents in 2012 during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. Additionally, the lost hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time puts many groggy drivers on the road. This one-two punch can make roads a hazardous place in the upcoming weeks. There are, however, several things you can do to insure that March is truly a month to celebrate!

For St. Patrick’s Day:

– Celebrate at home if at all possible!
– If you are venturing out, assign a designated driver before the festivities begin.
– You can also use public transportation or cab to and from your “celebration location”
– Your local community may have a sober ride program you can also use.
– If you are the designated driver, be on the lookout for intoxicated walkers who are inattentive to lights and crosswalks.
– If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and assist them in making other travel arrangements.

For Daylight Savings Time:

– Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and try waking up 15 minutes earlier in the mornings leading to daylight savings time.
– Expose yourself to light in the morning. Have breakfast near a window or get out for a walk in the sunlight first thing to help reset your internal clock.
– Try to keep your evenings dark. Tempting as it might be to use the extra daylight hour for activity, it is important to keep your “wind down” time intact to get a goods night’s sleep.
– Avoid napping. This can sabotage your efforts to get to sleep on time.
– Exercise early. Get in your workout before 4 or 5pm. Vigorous physical activity any later in the day will delay sleep time.

St. Patty’s Day Fun Facts:

– There are approximately 35 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry, more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
– The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland, but took place in the United States on March 17, 1737 in Boston.
– Corned beef and cabbage is served up as the St. Patrick’s Day dish in the U.S., but only because the Irish immigrants used it as a low-cost alternative to the meal’s more expensive counterpart in Ireland (bacon and potatoes).