Snow Melts and Time Marches On

March 12, 2014

Reprinted from WalkArlington Blog

The recent Daylight Saving Time (DST) change is a welcome sign of spring after a long, cold, snowy winter.  But, the “spring ahead” movement of the clocks also affects many people’s sleep schedules – which can have health and safety consequences as we go about our daily routines.

Lack of sleep negatively impacts performance at work or in school, can cause memory and cognitive impairment and may even result in an overall decrease in quality of life. Sleep deprivation also increases the risk of occupational and automobile injuries.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, each year drowsy drivers cause 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in property losses and lost productivity. Additionally, a study from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the University of British Columbia cites sleep loss as the most likely reason for the increase in crashes – 17 percent in the U.S. and eight percent in Canada – that occurs on the first Monday of DST each year.

The time change also means more of us will be out taking advantage of the longer days and warmer temperatures.  For all of these reasons, now is the perfect time to remind everyone to share our streets safely, whether on two feet, two wheels or four wheels!

To emphasize the importance of sharing the streets safely and courteously no matter what mode you’re using, Arlington County’s PAL logo, walkers, bikers car vignetteCar-Free Diet, Bike Arlington and WalkArlington put together a campaign to remind everyone to be a PAL – Predictable, Alert and Lawful - on our streets. 

A PAL Tool Kit, with logos, graphics, and other tools is available for businesses, community organizations, schools, and other local entities to customize for their own use and disseminate via an array of traditional and electronic channels. Take a look at the tools and share with your networks so we can all share our streets safely and courteously. To learn more about PAL tips, click on the appropriate links above.

And once we’ve adjusted to DST, watch for another multi-modal safety campaign coming this spring - the semi-annual regional Street Smart campaign will kick off the week of April 7 and run through May 11. So spring forward, be a PAL, and stay Street Smart this spring--and all year long!

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