• Ann Sheeley

The End of Daylight Savings Causes a Spike in Accidents

Updated: Feb 3

There is a long-running debate about why many states, including Rhode Island, still practice daylight savings time. Many people dread early November when daylight savings ends and we lose an hour of afternoon sunlight. Experts said setting our clocks back, even just one hour, disrupts the body’s internal clock and affects a person’s concentration, alertness behind the wheel and reaction to hazards on the road.


Statistically, each year there is a spike in motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents when Daylight Saving Time ends. People that normally commute during rush-hour are now driving home in the dark when visibility is reduced. In fact, 25 percent of car accidents occur just after dusk, which represents 30 percent of all pedestrian fatalities each year.[1] A study reported in Accident Analysis and Prevention found that adding an hour of sunlight in the evening year-round would save approximately 200 people from fatal car crashes every year.

Daylight Savings & Car Accidents

It’s not just us humans that have trouble adapting. Deer and other wildlife often having trouble adjusting to the abrupt change, which leads to more animals in the road causing an uptick in deer-related crashes during the evening hours. Often, these types of accidents involve multiple vehicles as startled drivers swerve to avoid the deer and collide with a vehicle in another lane, or they slam on the breaks and are rear-ended by the vehicle behind. According to one report, deer cause over 1 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year, resulting in more than US$1 billion in property damage, about 200 human deaths and 29,000 serious injuries.[2]


Your health and safety are important to all of us at Sheeley Law. As we all adjust to the shorter days, please heed our safety tips below to protect you and your loved ones:


Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Drive at a safe speed. Rushing to get home only increases your risk of an accident.

  • Make sure your headlights work properly and turn them on as soon as the sun sets.

  • Be extra mindful of pedestrians and proceed with caution when entering or exiting driveways or going through intersections.

  • Keep your car’s front and rear windshield, as well as side windows, clean.

  • If you do encounter a deer or other animal on the road, slow down and try not to swerve since you don’t know which way the animal will go.

  • Never drink and drive! Designate a driver, call an Uber, Lyft or cab if you plan on grabbing some after-work drinks.


Sheeley Law wants you to be safe and healthy this Fall. If you or a loved one are injured in a car, truck or pedestrian accident, contact Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney Ann Sheeley at 401-619-5555 or asheeley@sheeleylaw.com. In court and in settlement negotiations, she will be your advocate, standing up for your rights and interests at all times and fighting hard to get you the compensation you deserve.


[1] https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-highway-safety [2] https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art15/