If you’re out late Halloween night at a costume party don’t forget to include a wristwatch. It’s “fall back” time again as Daylight Saving Time (DST) means turning your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1.
While DST was originally introduced in Europe and North America during World War I, it didn’t really catch on until World War II when some governments thought adding and subtracting an hour in the spring and fall would aid the agriculture community. DST has been hanging around in some jurisdictions ever since.
Many myths surround DST; two of the most persistent include the urban legend that DST causes a rash of car accidents and auto collision fatalities due to the theory that many people sleep in, are late for appointments and are rushing to get there.
However, Wetaskiwin RCMP spokesperson Cst. Holly Porterfield perused the reports for DST one year ago, Nov. 2, 2014 and said she couldn’t find one motor vehicle collision report for that day. “I’ve never actually heard somebody bring up stats on that,” she said by phone Oct. 30. “It’s never popped out to me.”
Porterfield said the first snowfall of the year could be more dangerous if it’s heavy snow for several days in a row.
An extension of that urban legend is that DST causes so much confusion the following week, all sorts of people are late for work or miss work because they can’t adjust physically to the one-hour difference.
Mary Kemmis, president Prairie/East Kootenay Division, Black Press, the parent company of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer, said the problem has never seemed that serious to her.
“Over the years I’ve had the odd employee rushing in a few minutes late due to spring the time change, but I can’t say it’s ever been a real issue,” she said.
“Certainly, there are always a few people a little out-of-sorts, as they adjust to changing sleep patterns, but that’s the extent of it.”