Mar 11

Does Daylight Saving Time Cause More Car Accidents?


Daylight Saving Time is here.  We got to experience it on the way to work or school today and will experience it on the way home this afternoon or evening.  It is now darker on the way to school or work and the sun may be in your eyes more this afternoon than it was last week.  Drivers may be out of sorts for the next few days as they adjust to daylight saving time.

Daylight Saving Time

Does Daylight Saving Time have an impact on car accidents?  According to U.S. News and World Reports, daylight saving time costs lives during the first several days after the nation “springs forward” an hour. The report cites a 2014 study by the University of Colorado Boulder which shows a spike in fatal car accidents during the six days following the shift, and pins the cause as “shifting ambient light reallocates fatalities within a day, while sleep deprivation caused by the spring transition increases risk.”  Austin C. Smith, who authored the study, contends that there were 302 traffic fatalities attributable to daylight saving time over the 10-year sample period. That’s a 6.3 percent increase in fatalities over the six days following the time change.

Also, the report discusses data from Canada’s Manitoba
Public Insurance which showed a 20 percent increase in crashes on the Monday
following the start of daylight saving time in 2014 compared to all other
Mondays in 2014.

Will Daylight Saving Time go away in Florida?  According to the Herald-Tribune, leading Florida lawmakers are making another push in Congress to change daylight-saving time. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott recently reintroduced the so-called Sunshine Protection Act in an effort to end the twice annual time changes and keep daylight saving-time year-round instead of the current eight months. The senate bill has matching legislation filed in the U.S. House by Rep. Vern Buchanan. We will have to see what happens in Congress.

In the meantime, pay extra attention as you drive today and in
the upcoming week.  Drivers, pedestrians
and bicyclists are adjusting to the change in the sun’s position.  Drive carefully and watch out for those who


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