The end of Daylight Savings Time leads to a rise in pedestrian deaths

by Sarah Berry

The beloved (albeit temporary) end of Daylight Savings Time will take place this Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2 a.m. With an additional hour seemingly in the day, there’s a variety of things to do, such as taking a walk around the neighborhood.

However, according to The Huffington Post, you may want to rethink going for a walk after November 6. In a study published on Science Direct (a database available through the Rohrbach Library), scientists discovered that the transition from Daylight Savings Time to Daylight Standard Time correlates to the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths by cars.

pedestrian-crossing

In New York alone, 40 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred between October and December. Scientists believe the higher death rate is due to the nights becoming darker earlier, while the roads are still filled with drivers commuting to and from work.

Additionally, scientists found that the shift to Daylight Standard Time leads to people staying up later (with the idea of “gaining” an hour back) and can lead to drivers being less aware of their surroundings due to sleep deprivation.

Specifically, the study found on Sunday, the day immediately after the shift to Daylight Standard Time, that fatal accidents increased from an average of 126 to 139. Fortunately, the study did find that instead of increasing over the years, the amount of fatal accidents has decreased for the Sunday following the conclusion of Daylight Savings Time.

To be safe though, maybe opt for a Sunday morning of Netflix this year.

behind-the-screens-110815-netflix

 

Conducted by Stanford University, the study analyzed 21 years of fatal automobile accidents in the U.S. For more information, click here. Select the full-text link in the upper-right corner to be taken to Science Direct to view the full study and article.

If you are accessing the database off-campus, view our blog post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus, for more information.

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