11/03/2013 06:09 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST

BC insurance corp. warns of hidden dangers of daylight savings time

VANCOUVER - The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is asking drivers to wake up to the dangers of daylight savings time.

The Crown insurance company says there is a 16 per cent increase in the average number of afternoon commuter crashes in the province in the two weeks after the clocks fall back, compared to the two weeks before.

Even the one-hour change in sleeping patterns can affect concentration, alertness and reaction time, according to ICBC.

While the autumn change could mean an extra hour of shut-eye, a survey by the insurance agency found 30 per cent of drivers stay up later, leaving them more tired and less alert.

In addition to the upheaval to the body's internal clock, ICBC notes that road conditions are worsening this time of year and the afternoon drive is getting darker.

Previous published studies have suggested there is an increase in workplace injuries and heart attacks in the days and weeks following the end of daylight savings time.