Science

Permanent daylight saving time will reduce deer collisions, study finds

permanent daylight saving time That would reduce the amount of deer-vehicle accidents, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Current Biology. Researchers at the University of Washington found that year-round daylight savings are “likely to prevent an estimated 36,550 deer deaths, 33 human deaths, 2,054 human injuries and $1.19 billion in costs each year.”

According to the group of researchers led by postdoctoral researcher Callum Cunningham and associate professor of quantitative wildlife sciences, Laura Prugh, an estimated 2.1 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year in the US. Those accidents are responsible for about 440 human deaths and 59,000 injuries, and come with a hefty $10 billion price tag.

“Wildlife-vehicle collisions are a huge and growing problem,” Cunningham said in a press release from the University of Washington. “There are social costs – people killed and injured – and it is also a conservation problem because it is one of the largest sources of human-caused mortality of wildlife.”

A statistic from the study is titled, “Sustainable daylight saving time will reduce deer-vehicle collisions,” which shows changes in deer-vehicle collisions throughout the year.

current biology


The study analyzed data, which included more than 1 million deer-vehicle collisions in 23 states from 1994 to 2021, and found that most collisions occurred in the hours between sunset and sunrise. Collisions peak in the fall – the change from daylight saving time to standard time occurs around 10% during the two-week period, and deer-vehicle collisions increase by 16% in the week following the change to standard time .

The increase was attributed to people driving in dark conditions, and because the timing change coincides with the deer mating season.

“Strategies such as year-round daylight saving time that reduce traffic during dark hours, especially during the breeding season of abundant ungulates, would yield substantial benefits for wildlife conservation and deer-vehicle collisions.” social and economic costs of the virus,” the study read.

In March, the US Senate unanimously passed The Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving permanent Started in November 2023. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio pushed for the bill to pass, citing research showing that an extra hour of sunshine later in the day lowers crime levels, decreases rates of seasonal depression, and more. Time for the kids to play outside. The bill still needs to be signed into law by President Biden to pass the House and take effect.

According to a survey conducted by Monmouth University, 6 out of 10 Americans said they prefer daylight savings to be permanent. Most people in America currently advance their clocks by one hour on the second weekend of March and turn them back on the first weekend of November. The federal government last extended that period to four weeks in 2007.

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