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

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
study permanent daylight saving time good for bambi bad for roadkill venison

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/]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
3 of 23 comments
  • Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
  • JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
  • Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.
  • Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
  • EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.