Annual US clock change kills 33 people and 36,500 deer in car crashes

Matthew Sparkes in New Scientist:

Moving to daylight saving time permanently could prevent 36,550 deer deaths, 33 human deaths and $1.19 billion in costs annually in the US.

Calum Cunningham at the University of Washington in Seattle and his colleagues have analysed data from 23 US states that included details on more than a million collisions between deer and vehicles from 1994 to 2021. There are an estimated 2.1 million of these accidents in the US every year, killing about 440 people and causing upwards of $10 billion in damage.

The team found that the shift from daylight saving time to standard time in November, when the clocks go back an hour, leading to sunrise and sunset being experienced at an earlier time, led to a sudden increase in the amount of driving during darkness. Peak traffic volume also shifted from before sunset in October to during sunset in November. The records showed that collisions between deer and cars in the US rise by 16 per cent in the week following the autumn clock change.

More here.