Navigating Daylight Savings Time



Navigating Daylight Savings Time

In a few days, Alberta will be moving their clocks back one hour. Although the practice of Daylight Saving Time (DST) goes back to the First World War, less than 40% of countries (70) use DST. Many countries that use DST do so to make better use of the natural daylight in the evenings. The extra two hours of light for half of the year result in significant reduction in electricity use and approximately 300 more hours of daylight a year.

The difference is most noticeable in areas that are a certain distance from Earth’s equator. The southern hemisphere Australia, New Zealand, as well as most of South America and southern Africa practice DST, which starts between September – November and ends between March – April. In the northern hemisphere, which encompass Europe and North America as well as part of Africa and Asia, DST starts in March-April and ends in October- November.

Alberta enacted DST in 1971 after the public voted in favor of adopting the practice in a plebiscite. In October of 2021, Alberta decided through a referendum question not to make DST permanent (all year round).


Studies have shown that the twice-a-year desynchronization of the body clocks due to the shift in daylight hours can affect the body’s circadian rhythms, which can lead to dysfunctions in metabolic, behavioral and cognitive ability (making it more difficult for drivers and pedestrians to stay alert and focused). Most people adjust in a week.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has reported that 40% of Canadians are unaware of the risk of driving after DST begins. When the clocks move ahead (losing one hour of sleep), traffic accidents increase by 23% on the Monday following the change, and there is an overall increase of 6-7% in accidents in the week following.


In Alberta, the end of daylight-saving time coincides with the deer-mating season, making the combination perilous on Alberta highways. According to the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program, about 80% of wildlife-vehicle collisions involve deer, with peak time being November.


Daylight Savings has become synonymous with testing the batteries on smoke and C/O detectors. The recommendation is to replace the batteries once a year, but it is good practice to check the units and the batteries every 6 months.

Stay Safe, Stay Informed #DaylightSavingTime

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