Does Daylight Saving Time Cause More Car Accidents?

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Does the End of Daylight Saving Time Cause an Increase in Car Accidents?

Does the End of Daylight Saving Time Cause an Increase in Car Accidents?

Nov 7, 2022

Daylight saving time – the practice of turning the clocks back an hour in the fall and forward an hour in the spring – is unpopular with the majority of Americans. In fact, a article cited a recent poll confirming that only 21% of U.S. residents were looking forward to the end of daylight saving time.

Does Daylight Saving Time Cause More Car Accidents?

Daylight saving time is so unpopular, it’s one of the few issues to garner bi-partisan support from the U.S. Senate.

In March, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to do away with the custom of “springing forward” and “falling back,” effectively making daylight saving time permanent. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, the U.S. House of Representatives has still yet to pass what’s known as the Sunshine Protection Act, despite overwhelming support from the public.

“Lawmakers have just 17 legislative days – the period known as the lame-duck session – remaining to pass the bill and send it to President Biden’s desk before the current Congress comes to a close, and both chambers are forced to reset the clock and reconsider the controversial change,” The Hill reported on November 5.

And some legislators aren’t confident in the possibility of the daylight saving time bill actually passing.

“I wouldn’t expect it to happen this time,” Representative Kewisi Mfume of Maryland, who is in the process of becoming a co-sponsor of the bill, told The Hill. “My gut sense tells me that there are going to be a number of other things that happen, depending on which party dominates the election.”

But while Congress drags its feet on the Sunshine Protection Act, it’s important to note that daylight saving time isn’t simply a matter of a twice-a-year inconvenience for Americans. In fact, research indicates that incidents of heart attacks, strokes, workplace injuries, and even fatal car accidents spike around the start of daylight saving time.

A recent Business Insider report even claimed that daylight saving time is “literally killing us” and called for an immediate end to the practice of springing forward and falling behind.

Let’s take a look at how daylight saving time affects car accident injuries and fatalities in the sections below. We’ll also review how to file a personal injury car accident claim with Dordulian Law Group to secure the financial compensation you need to make a full recovery.

Does Daylight Saving Time Cause More Car Accidents?

A recent report issued by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and city officials – part of their “Dusk & Darkness” initiative – confirmed that as the sun goes down, the number of motor vehicle-related crashes go up.

NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster said there is a strong correlation between the “earlier onset of darkness and traffic injuries and fatalities,” according to a Daily News report.

“It’s the most dangerous time of the year for pedestrians and cyclists,” city Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said during a recent press conference outside of NYPD headquarters.

And the data supports the sentiments put forth by New York City officials.

New research published this week in the journal Current Biology confirms that the November switch from daylight saving to standard time corresponds with a 16% increase in deer-vehicle crashes in the week after the clocks change.

Scientists estimate that maintaining daylight saving time year-round would prevent a number of car accident injuries and fatalities:

  • 33 human deaths could be prevented
  • 2,054 human injuries could be prevented
  • 36,550 deer deaths could be prevented

Furthermore, an end to daylight saving time could save the U.S. an estimated $1.19 billion in collision costs per year, according to a report from Smithsonian Magazine.

“A seemingly simple change – not changing the clock back in the fall, not falling back – would lead to such a marked reduction in collisions throughout the country,” the Current Biology study’s co-author, Laura Prugh, a quantitative wildlife scientist at the University of Washington, said to NBC News.

The study suggests that adopting daylight time year-round would considerably improve safety for American drivers. According to Smithsonian, scientists estimate that such a change would actually lead to an overall 2.3% drop in deer-vehicle collisions per year.

By contrast, what would the consequences be for not adopting year-round daylight saving time?

“Permanent standard time would correspond with 5.1% more deer-vehicle collisions. Those 73,660 extra crashes would cause an estimated 66 additional human deaths and 4,140 injuries, as well an extra $2.39 billion in collision costs each year,” according to the study.

When conducting the study, researchers examined about 1 million deer-vehicle collisions occurring between 1994 and 2021 and found that 76% of them happened at nighttime.

Does ‘Springing Forward’ Through Daylight Saving Time Also Increase Car Accidents?

Does 'Springing Forward' Through Daylight Saving Time Also Increase Car Accidents?
While early sunsets and dark roads may seem like the only concern related to daylight saving time, it turns out that “springing forward” can also have an impact on traffic safety.

A recent study commissioned through the University of Colorado, Boulder, discovered a consistent rise in fatal car crashes during the week we “spring forward,” according to a Healthline report. And the primary factor contributing to a rise in motor vehicle crashes when we spring forward could be losing that single hour of sleep.

Researchers looked at 732,835 car accidents recorded through the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) that took place between 1996 and 2017. Through their findings, the academics involved in the study estimated that car crashes in the U.S. caused by “sleepy daylight-saving drivers” likely cost 30 extra people their lives over the nine-year period from 2002-2011.

Moreover, in the week following spring daylight saving time, fatal car accidents spike by nearly 6%, according to the study, which was also published in the journal Current Biology. And if you live on the western edge of your time zone, the increase is estimated to be even higher – approximately 8%.

“Our study provides additional, rigorous evidence that the switch to daylight saving time in spring leads to negative health and safety impacts. These effects on fatal traffic accidents are real, and these deaths can be prevented,” senior author Céline Vetter, an assistant professor of integrative physiology, wrote in an email statement to Healthline.

But the overall impact that daylight saving time has on car accidents could actually be much higher.

“Because the authors only looked at the most severe car accidents, they suspect the risk of crashes around DST may be even greater,” Healthline noted.

How to File a California Car Accident Injury Civil Lawsuit

If you’ve been injured in car, truck, or motorcycle accident that was at least partially the fault of another driver or pedestrian, you may be able to recover a cash settlement through a civil claim with the experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Dordulian Law Group (DLG).

Our proven car accident lawyers will fight to secure all applicable damages pertaining to your case:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Hospital and medical expenses (past and future)
  • Punitive damages
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life

Under the California statute of limitations, the majority of car accident claims must be filed within a two-year window. In other words, if you’ve been injured in a California car accident, you likely have two years from the date that the crash occurred to file a claim seeking financial compensation.

However, car accident claims made against government or public entities are subject to a shorter deadline – sometimes only six months. Accordingly, injured car accident victims are strongly encouraged to file their claims as soon as possible by contacting DLG’s attorneys today at 818-322-4056.

About DLG’s Los Angeles, California, Car Accident Lawyers

DLG’s car accident attorneys are dedicated to fighting aggressively on behalf of injured victims and helping them secure the maximum financial compensation they deserve to ensure a complete recovery.

With more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts recovered for injured clients like you while maintaining a consistent 98% winning record, DLG is the absolute best choice you can make when searching for a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

For a car accident injury, the only call you need to make is to the dedicated team of attorneys at D-L-G.

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