Time Changes Strongly Linked to Car Accidents and Pedestrian Strikes

November 09, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Most of us hate the twice-yearly clock changes. They impact sleep patterns, they mean moving all the manual clocks forward or back, and they disrupt our daily rhythm. What most people don’t consider though is the danger they pose to pedestrians.


The move to daylight savings time results in more pedestrian strikes by car drivers and higher death rates than any other time of year. According to expert research published in PubMed.gov “Fatal accidents following changes in daylight savings time: the American experience” looked at whether sleep loss and behaviour changes play into the increase of fatal traffic accidents.


Research Shows Strong Correlation Between Time Change and Accidents


What the researchers found was that both ‘falling back’ and ‘springing forward’ days are associated with a significant increase in accident rates. 


The sleep deprivation on the Monday following shift to DST in the spring results in a small increase in fatal accidents. The behavioral adaptation anticipating the longer day on Sunday of the shift from DST in the fall leads to an increased number of accidents suggesting an increase in late night (early Sunday morning) driving when traffic related fatalities are high possibly related to alcohol consumption and driving while sleepy

It is important to be aware of the risks posed by the shift in sleeping patterns, and also by the risk of having more pedestrians on the roadways after work in the winter when it is dark.


Public education efforts should focus warnings about the effects of sleep loss in the springtime shift and the impact of staying up late during the ‘fall back’ in the autumn. Mixing excessive alcohol consumption with staying out later on the Saturday night autumnal shift has been closely linked to a significant increase in the number of car accidents and pedestrian strikes on the Sunday following the shift.


Safety Tips:

  • Be aware of the change in time
  • Look for pedestrians and cyclists on the roadways and crosswalks in the dark
  • Slow down
  • Consider reducing your alcohol consumption
  • Don’t drive if you are tired
  • Pedestrians and cyclists should always wear brightly coloured and reflective clothing when walking or cycling in the dark. 


You can read more of the research here.


If you or a loved one are hit by a car when walking or cycling, you should contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. We are here to protect your future.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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