Study: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Good for Bambi, Bad for Roadkill Venison


A new study suggests that a shift to permanent daylight saving time would prevent 37,000 car and deer collisions on American roads every year.

Furthermore, 33 human lives, 2,000 injuries, and innumerable repair costs would be saved, as well.

Meanwhile, a switch in the other direction to permanent standard time would cost 66 more lives, $2 billion in costs, and add 74,000 collisions.

“The numbers are surprisingly large,” Laura Prugh, an associate professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and an author of the study, told Autoblog. “It’s just noticeable that 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.”

“If you drive two hours after dark, you’re 14 times more likely to hit a deer than if you drive before dark,” said Calum Cunningham, a postdoctoral researcher at UW and co-author of the study.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study, which used data from 1 million crashes in 23 states, showed that drivers were more likely to smash sheetmetal into antlers when commuting home during the darkening evening. Deer, of course, are active at dawn and dusk.

Currently, there are 2.1 million deer and car collisions in the U.S. each year, with $10 billion lost. Every year there are around 59,000 injuries and 440 deaths among humans.

Legislation that would change our current system is currently stalled in the House of Representatives. Keep that in mind as you set your clock back an hour Sunday.

[Image: Ungar-Biewer/]

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