Some Light on the Controversy about the Effects of the Shift to Daylight Saving Time on Road Accidents
It was assumed that the shift from standard time to a new time (Daylight Saving Time — DST), by inducing a sleep deprivation of one hour, would induce more sleepiness and by these more road accidents (RA). However, the direct examination of the effect of DST on traffic accidents has produced contradictory and controversial results. Several authors have found that an extra hour of daylight results in more RA (Monk and Folkard, 1976; Hicks et al., 1983; Leger, 1994; Coren, 1996), while others have suggested the opposite (Road Research Laboratory, 1970; Green, 1980; Broughton and Sedman, 1989; Ferguson et al., 1995; Ferguson, 1996). The present study was designed to investigate traffic accidents around the time of the shift, over a period of three years.
KeywordsSleep Deprivation Traffic Accident Time Change Standard Time Time Block
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