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Study Suggests that Making Daylight Saving Permanent Could Prevent Thousands of Wildlife Collisions

Study Suggests that Making Daylight Saving Permanent Could Prevent Thousands of Wildlife Collisions

The study found deer collisions were “14 times more frequent two hours after sunset than two hours before sunset.”

I hate the twice-yearly time changes, especially the “spring forward.”

A new study suggests that making daylight saving permanent would reduce the number of wildlife collisions, potentially saving thousands of deer and human lives.

The study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology estimated that up to 36,550 deer deaths, 33 human deaths and 2,054 human injuries could be prevented annually by halting the switch from daylight saving to standard time in the autumn. Permanent daylight saving time would allow for more light during peak traffic hours.

“We were surprised at the magnitude of the results,” said Laura Prugh, an associate wildlife science professor at University of Washington who helped author the study.

The switch would reduce the rush hour traffic when it is dark.

“Wildlife-vehicle collisions are a huge and growing problem,” Calum Cunningham, University of Washington researcher, said in a statement. “These are social costs — people killed and injured — and it’s also a conservation problem as it’s one of the largest sources of human-caused mortality of wildlife.”

…Researchers said deer-collision numbers would drop if human activity is reduced during deer activity. The study found deer collisions were “14 times more frequent two hours after sunset than two hours before sunset.” It also found deer collisions spike in the fall when most states switch to standard time and deer activity increases during their mating season.

The ending to the regular time changes is one of the few issues popular across all party lines. A measure was approved in the US Senate earlier this year.

In March, the Senate weighed in, unanimously voting in favor of the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent year-round for all states but Hawaii and most of Arizona, which would continue to observe year-round standard time. But the bill has stalled in the House.

“There’s some strong science behind it that is now showing and making people aware of the harm that clock-switching has,” Rubio said on the Senate floor in March.

Indeed, a 2020 study found that fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. rose 6% in the week after daylight saving started. Other studies have found that the switch to daylight saving brings small increases in workplace injuries and medical errors in the days following the change. A 2019 study, meanwhile, found that the risk of heart attacks went up in the week after clocks sprung forward, though other research did not find such an increase.

But for the time being, remember we “fall back” one hour this Sunday.


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California voters voted to abolish DST a couple of years ago. But our “democracy-loving” decided to study the issue some more and here we are. Laws are optional for the ruling class.

Well that means back to deer hunting the old way—with a rifle.


Now, if we can get states to understand that you can’t kill an infinite number of does, then we can fix deer herds on public lands.

    Edward in reply to Dathurtz. | November 4, 2022 at 10:24 am

    If the doe harvest was working (nationally) as you apparently believe it to be, there wouldn’t be many vehicle/deer collisions at all because the herds would have been decimated through loss of does. Yet in many/most areas the deer herd is healthy and still growing, in part due to the loss of hunters filling deer tags. We know that taking bucks is not a way to control deer herd numbers, decades of experience proves that with states which have only recently allowed doe harvesting doing so because of problematic deer populations.

      Dathurtz in reply to Edward. | November 4, 2022 at 11:38 am

      Is that really the logic there? Foolish. Go into virtually any public land in Louisiana and go find a deer herd. You can’t. People don’t even bother to hunt the public land anymore and they haven’t for ten years. The places with deer are privately owned land or privately managed hunting clubs. They have deer like crazy because they don’t kill all their does. In most private land, people don’t even hunt. You can’t fix the collisions in that area with a statewide rule because people aren’t hunting there no matter how many does you let them harvest. Most people don’t report their kills anyways.

      Maybe your state does a very good job at this so it seems like I am coming out of left field. Louisiana and Arkansas do an absolutely horrible job at it and it shows. An example: One of my friends owns a 2.5 square mile block of land in northern LA that he manages through some state program where they allot him a certain number of deer tags. In very good deer habitat there are around 25-28ish deer per square mile and about 1/3 of those will be breeding age does. So, the guy generously has around 25 breeding age does on that land. The state gives him 45 doe tags and said “You can’t kill enough does so kill every one you see.” So he did. It took him two years until you couldn’t find a deer there. The state guys says, “Oh, man, it must have been a disease or something!” No, you just killed all your does.

      I’ve seen that exact same scenario play out a few times. There is always “some disease or something!” that sweeps through an area 2-3 years after somebody is foolish enough to listen to our state wildlife management guys tell them to kill all their does. It isn’t something that can be managed from a state perspective, but has to be managed according to the local deer herd. Since most people don’t have a large block of land to hunt, or don’t want to pay thousands of dollars a year to hunt on a good lease, they prefer to hunt public land. That results in a total/near total kill on the public lands unless they are very difficult to access.

      Anyways, sorry for the long rant/reply. This topic drives me bonkers because wildlife management people really should know better and I’ve been so many people listen to them and totally crash their deer herd.

UnCivilServant | November 4, 2022 at 7:30 am

I don’t care whether it’s abolished or made permanant, just pick a time and stop making me adjust to a new clock twice a year.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to UnCivilServant. | November 4, 2022 at 9:45 am

    this. so much this.

    I find that to be very Civil.

    henrybowman in reply to UnCivilServant. | November 4, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    Well, y’all know, the twice a year time shift was introduced here by FDR, so clearly it was just another one of his socialist plots. Prior to that it was enacted in Germany, Austria, and portions of Canada, so I mean, do I have to go on?

    One of the many reasons I enjoyed moving to Arizona was when I discovered we stay on standard time (Z-7) all year. Except for the sizeable Navajo Nation, which is deep blue anyway (as if that’s a coincidence). The downside is that during the summer, all the east coast companies and acquaintances we routinely deal with suddenly go to voicemail or bed an hour earlier. So whenever all y’all want to catch up to rationality with us, we’re waitin’ on ya.

Another study said more school kids would die if we made it permanent because it’s harder to see them in the morning in winter because it would be darker.

There are as many studies as there are deer where I live …

Maybe they should extend hunting season on both useless studies and deer …

    WestRock in reply to PrincetonAl. | November 4, 2022 at 8:19 am

    It’s amazing how many deer there are in the wooded areas around Princeton and Mercer County and across the river in Bucks County (named for a person not multitude male deer). I did witness a horrific accident with a deer launched by one car into the windshield of an oncoming vehicle during a November morning commute at the edge of Washington Crossing Park back in the mid 1980’s. It made the front page of the Trentonian (good for lining bird cages and packing fill).

    I don’t know anyone who isn’t in favor of stopping the switch and it most definitely affects traffic for a week or two. What’s the holdup?

      Dathurtz in reply to WestRock. | November 4, 2022 at 11:41 am

      The argument I hear against it is that people worry about kids and school buses in the dark.

        jimincalif in reply to Dathurtz. | November 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm

        It’s a valid concern. Here in the Boise area, sunrise this week is at about 8:25 am. Just three days ago a 16 year old high school student here was hit by a car and killed, at about 7:40 am. With the time change, next week sunrise will be about 7:30.

          Dathurtz in reply to jimincalif. | November 4, 2022 at 5:09 pm

          I live far enough south I don’t have to worry about it, but I get that others do. Sunrise here is just after 7:00 and visible light is around 6:30.

          henrybowman in reply to jimincalif. | November 4, 2022 at 5:22 pm

          Come on, government, stop jerking the entire country around for a problem that can be solved for less than $5.

          There’s only one other real way to address this problem, and it’s cringe to find out where it comes from. One of the offices I used to work at in the Pentagon had this giant wall-sized map of global time zones. Each zone “strip” had contrasting colors, but there were a few anomalies that stood out. One was (I think) Saudi Arabia, which was colored like a candy cane and labeled “Muslim Standard Time.” I asked the owner of the map what that meant. He said that every day at sunset, everyone in the country had to reset their clocks to 6 PM.

          “There, I fixed it.”

          “With the time change, next week sunrise will be about 7:30.” In a few weeks, it will be around 8:30 again – and it will also be dark early in the evening.

        Kevin in reply to Dathurtz. | November 4, 2022 at 7:17 pm

        I live in Georgia, sunrise today was at 7:55 AM. It is 8:30 AM or later up north. Kids waiting for buses in the dark, and parents and students driving to school in the dark is stupid. There are more deer collisions in the 2 hrs after sunset now due to more traffic in the early evening. Perpetual DST would see more people on dark roads in the mornings, which would mean more collisions then as well. The reasoning behind DST was more daylight for summer evenings. With our increasingly air conditioned lives, needing daylight for reduced electrical use is a thing of the past. And since when is November summer? DST year round means it’ll be 8:30 before daylight by the winter solstice. Northern states would be dark until 9 AM or later. That is ridiculous. Even with Standard Time, it will be light until 8:30 here in June, and 9 to 9:30 up north. That’s enough daylight. Power bills would go down with people not getting home and turning their A/C on until later in the day, later in the peak power use period. Earlier sunrises in the winter would mean less heating fuel usage when people are getting ready for work. That ought to appeal to the greenies. Permanent Standard Time is the answer.

Springing forward and falling back is exercise for some people.

Antifundamentalist | November 4, 2022 at 8:01 am

I have always hated time change. It was pure torture when we had young children. I honestly do not care which way it goes – I just want them to “pick one” and be done with it!

The Gentle Grizzly | November 4, 2022 at 8:05 am

Let me offer another solution: adjust it forward half an hour between the present standard time and daylight saving time. Whacky? No.

First of all, several countries do that. So does Newfoundland; they are 30 minutes ahead of Atlantic time.

This would help cut back on the worry about school kids in the dark, still help with the animal collision issue.

Your thoughts?

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | November 4, 2022 at 9:28 am

    I agree with you.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | November 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

    I was coming to say the same thing.

    Having a 30-minute time zone is not wacky at all. But putting yourself half an hour ahead of where you should be, that is senseless. If you don’t like DST, the obvious answer is to go back to your natural time, or as close as you can get to it without causing hundreds to die in train crashes because every city is on a different clock. So, time zones, but more or less aligned with their natural time. Western Michigan gets pretty crazy, especially in summer; maybe Michigan should move to the Central zone. Or make a half-hour zone between Eastern and Central and put the whole midwest on it.

    But don’t just ignore the sun and make up your own time; if you do that then you may as well put the whole country (including Hawaii) on the same zone and be done with it. If you think that’s a wacky idea, then don’t do something that’s the same thing on a smaller scale.

so changing our clock is going to change when deer move to feeding grounds???
it dosen’t matter what your clock says, a deer will go to feed when it’s hungry, AND the sun has set, making it “safer” to move. making DST permenent will not change anything, concerning deer collisions.
it will however make the lives of millions of people simpler and less stressful.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to xtron. | November 4, 2022 at 9:44 am

    I think the idea is to change our peak vehicle travel times so that the deer travel and vehicle travel have less overlap.

    Milhouse in reply to xtron. | November 4, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    so changing our clock is going to change when deer move to feeding grounds???

    No, but the idea is that it will change when drivers are on the roads, so there will be fewer collisions. By pretending 4:00 is 5:00, as we do in the summer, the drivers will go home earlier, as they do in the summer, and the deer will miss them.

      Peabody in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2022 at 2:25 pm

      I was going to say, “What about children waiting for the school bus?” but I see you adressed that in a subsequent post.

      Good thinking.

I always thought Daylight savings time was a waste in Alaska. When the nights are 6 months long – do you save two hours a year?

    UnCivilServant in reply to MattMusson. | November 4, 2022 at 8:45 am

    South of the arctic circle, the sun will still set daily as understood by the rest of us. Most of Alaska is south of that line. North of that line, it will depend on lattitude how many days of midnight sun or days of night you get.

I’d much rather make Standard Time permanent. There’s a reason it’s called “Standard”…

E Howard Hunt | November 4, 2022 at 9:55 am

I await thousands of additional studies on how DST affects as many other issues. I then await an overarching cost benefit analysis. The time has come to put forward a proper study and not fall back on old habits.

Or you could realize we are a 24/7 society and animals move all hours. Thus saving NOTHING.

    Maybe more effort should be put into making sure the deer cross at those areas designated for that purpose. If they keep ignoring the signs they have only themselves to blame.

      henrybowman in reply to JRaeL. | November 4, 2022 at 5:25 pm

      Every notice that stupid government puts ALL of the deer crossing signs in ALL of the WORST places for them to cross?

2nd Ammendment Mother | November 4, 2022 at 10:03 am

Hilarity ensues….. eventually they’ll figure out how to prevent winter days from being shorter. Deer don’t have watches, they’re going to roam on their own clocks regardless.

Just speed up the clocks slightly in the spring and slow them down slightly in the fall. It’s just a matter of changing the AC line frequency slightly, which they do anyway to put exactly the right number of cycles in a day. Deliberately reduce or increase the average amount.

A similar change in WWVB would deal with self-setting radio clocks.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to rhhardin. | November 4, 2022 at 10:21 am

    There was an episode of Superman where a Bad Guy was sealed in to a building. The cops knew he was there but had no way in. The statute of limitations was about to expire on his Bad Guy stuff, then he’d come out.

    Superman suggested speeding up the generators ever so slightly so Bad Guy’s clock would bring him out sooner.

    Part of the scenes being filmed, showed people looking at Street clocks, and then looking at their watches and shaking their heads, etc.

    henrybowman in reply to rhhardin. | November 4, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    “Just speed up the clocks slightly in the spring and slow them down slightly in the fall.”
    Ha ha! From History of DST:
    “Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year to adjust the daily schedules to the solar time.”

If I was a parent in someplace like Bangor, Maine, I would be none too happy sending my child off to the school bus stop in December & January a full hour or more before sunrise. Congress should butt out and let each state decide what it want to do.

But doesn’t it stay darker(per the clock) for later in the early morning hours? Unless people always wait until sunrise before driving off to work, school, chores or what have you I see a grand flaw in this study.

I hate the extended DST. It makes no sense and it messes with the body clock.

    Dathurtz in reply to JRaeL. | November 4, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    I would like us to set 12:00 noon by the sun and go from that. Same basic idea we have, but in the center of each time zone 12:00 is high noon. And then, don’t mess with it.

      UnCivilServant in reply to Dathurtz. | November 4, 2022 at 1:23 pm

      Fun fact – solar noon moves throughout the year to either side of 12:00. Without DST it’s a sine wave of solar noon realtive to 12:00. So, really, it’s just “Pick a time” unless we want a constantly changing clock.

        No, it’s not “pick a time”. 12:00 is defined as the average noon for any location. Each city used to set its clocks by that. Then the railroads came along and set up large zones, and told everyone that if they wanted to catch the train on time they had to change their clocks to railroad time. (They did this because there was a terrible train crash due to each railroad using a different clock.) The zones were drawn up more or less as Dathurtz said, with noon being 12:00 approximately in the center of each zone. Not exactly the center, because they adjusted for state boundaries and other considerations, but reasonably close. And yes, let’s just stick with that.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to JRaeL. | November 4, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    “ But doesn’t it stay darker(per the clock) for later in the early morning hours? ”

    Yes. It stays early later.

No. No, no, no, no, no. If you want to stop switching the clock twice a year, then get rid of DST; don’t make it permanent! It was always a bad idea, never had any science backing it, and it’s become even worse in recent decades with air conditioning replacing lighting as the major energy cost.

Permanent daylight saving time would allow for more light during peak traffic hours.

In the evening, maybe. But it would mean less light during the morning peak.

Forget deer; how about children, waiting for the school bus in the dark. Oh, wait, I forgot, deer are more important than children.

    Peabody in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    That is an excellent post, Milhouse.

    Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Yes, Milhouse, yes.
    Lots of heart attacks and other adverse health events around the time change, in either direction. An increase in traffic accidents, as well, as changing an hour markedly changes lighting conditions, and accidents.

    Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of daily saving, when his only consideration was whale oil used for lighting. Heating and air conditioning and driving conditions were not involved, at first.

    How about, go standard time, and allow summer schedules and winter schedules?

      Milhouse in reply to Milwaukee. | November 5, 2022 at 11:20 pm

      Candles, not whale oil. And he didn’t propose changing the clocks, he just proposed that people get up earlier and go to bed earlier!

      This was when he was living in Paris, where the working people of course got up in the morning and went to bed at night, but the idle class, of which he was a member, would stay up until 3 or 4 AM and then sleep till noon. He wrote a satirical piece, informing everyone of a wonderful discovery he had made: that there exists such a thing as morning, when there’s a great big candle in the sky that doesn’t cost anything to burn. So he proposed that it be made a law that everyone had to wake up at sunrise, and that the city hire people to walk around the streets at sunrise making a large racket to wake everyone up. He added up the cost of all the candles this measure would save.

      Changing the clocks to trick people into getting up earlier, which is what DST is, was a much later invention.

    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Of course you can’t outfit deer with reflectors or flashlights.

The Gentle Grizzly | November 4, 2022 at 2:45 pm

Deer, deer. Let not your hart be troubled. Just get hind the idea of changing to one time year round.

Just like the government, to steal an hour of your time and then “give you an hour for free” right before the election…

My solution to the Daylight Saving – there’s a misnomer for you – issue, but not the deer issue, is to stick with Standard Time and strongly promote Flexi-Time in the workplace.

There are a multitude of advantages for both businesses and workers; there is even a huge advantage for city planners and transport infrastructure in that the ‘peak’ can be spread out.

“Won’t work for everyone” I hear you say; does anything?

Don’t worry about the deer. Bambi and Faline are gonna party when they feel like it.

They’re called “wild life” for a reason.

    henrybowman in reply to DSHornet. | November 4, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Right, but the object here was to avoid double-booking the Asphalt Party House to both the deer and rush hour commuters.