Study: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Good for Bambi, Bad for Roadkill Venison

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

A new study suggests that a shift to permanent daylight saving time would prevent 37,000 car and deer collisions on American roads every year.

Furthermore, 33 human lives, 2,000 injuries, and innumerable repair costs would be saved, as well.

Meanwhile, a switch in the other direction to permanent standard time would cost 66 more lives, $2 billion in costs, and add 74,000 collisions.

“The numbers are surprisingly large,” Laura Prugh, an associate professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and an author of the study, told Autoblog. “It’s just noticeable that a seemingly simple change — not changing the clock back in the fall, not falling back — would lead to such a marked reduction in collisions throughout the country.”

“If you drive two hours after dark, you’re 14 times more likely to hit a deer than if you drive before dark,” said Calum Cunningham, a postdoctoral researcher at UW and co-author of the study.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study, which used data from 1 million crashes in 23 states, showed that drivers were more likely to smash sheetmetal into antlers when commuting home during the darkening evening. Deer, of course, are active at dawn and dusk.

Currently, there are 2.1 million deer and car collisions in the U.S. each year, with $10 billion lost. Every year there are around 59,000 injuries and 440 deaths among humans.

Legislation that would change our current system is currently stalled in the House of Representatives. Keep that in mind as you set your clock back an hour Sunday.

[Image: Ungar-Biewer/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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6 of 23 comments
  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Nov 04, 2022

    I am old enough to remember when during the 'energy crisis' daylight savings time was kept in place. I and most of those that I knew, preferred it. Personally I would like to see it re-introduced.

    • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 06, 2022

      There is current legislation to make daylight savings time year around. I remember during the year of the Arab Oil Embargo daylight savings was year around but there were safety concerns of it being too dark in the morning for children going to school, Daylight savings time was originally enacted during World War I so factory workers would have more daylight to work.

  • CoastieLenn CoastieLenn on Nov 04, 2022

    We here in Hawaii always live on standard time, like Arizona. One benefit of living in Hawaii? 0 car vs. deer accidents per annum. We have no deer. We have no snakes. We have no squirrels. Sure, we might hit a mongoose every once in a while, but that's pretty rare as they're super quick and smart.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Nov 04, 2022

    Does that legislation keep the US on Standard Time or Daylight Time?

  • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Nov 06, 2022

    Deer = large rats with antlers.