Increased traffic accidents after the time change

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More traffic accidents at sunrise and sunset after changing the time

The British police have registered more accidents after the time change for years. Researchers at the University of Oxford have now scientifically investigated the phenomenon and came to the conclusion that the number of injured motorcyclists increases after the change from winter to summer time and the number of pedestrians injured after the time change in autumn.

Number of motorcycle accidents increases drastically in spring For the study, the researchers only considered the hours in which the lighting conditions changed due to the change in time. They examined all accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities that the British Department of Transport had recorded four weeks before and after the daylight saving time change during sunrise and sunset from 1996 to 2006.

It turned out that the number of accidents in almost all groups rose significantly after the time change in spring. The increase was particularly strong with 42 percent among motorcyclists. It was only reduced by eight percent among pedestrians. However, the extent to which the number of motorcyclists increased due to the warmer, drier weather was not taken into account. When the time was changed in autumn, the number of motorcycle accidents did not increase, but decreased by two percent. According to the researchers, however, this is not significant. In contrast, the number of accidents among cyclists fell by 5.3 percent in autumn. In the fall, however, the number of accidents in pedestrians increased by almost 30 percent, while that of motorists and passengers increased by 19 percent.

"The results for certain subgroups demonstrate that the switch to daylight saving time does not save lives," explains the study’s lead author, Joseph Alsousou. It was important to investigate the causes of the increased number of accidents after a time change, including reduced visibility, disturbances in the internal clock and changes in road use due to different lighting conditions were part of the work. "More work is required in this area to develop the information required for accident prevention strategies."

In Germany there are regular warnings about game accidents in autumn. Rush-hour traffic would fall into the dusk for some time if the clock was set forward, according to the German Hunting Association.

Changing the time carries risks Since the introduction of winter and summer time in 1980, the time difference has been criticized time and again. Advocates cite energy saving as a major advantage, because the longer daylight means that less electricity is used. However, critics argue that changing the time would cause serious health problems for many people because the biorhythm would be disturbed. Automobile clubs see the time adjustment as a measurable increased risk of accidents. Many people would experience difficulty concentrating, irritability and dizziness during the settling-in period. Symptoms are often triggered by sleep disorders. (ag)

Also read on the subject of time change:
The time change affects our biorhythm
Time change favors winter depression
Time change: more accidents and sleep disorders
Sleep training helps children with sleep disorders
Changing the time can provoke sleep disorders
Biorhythm suffers from time change

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