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Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back: The Effect of Daylight Saving Time on Road Safety

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  • Christian Bünnings

    (FOM University of Applied Sciences and RWI - Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research)

  • Valentin Schiele

    (Paderborn University)

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the effect of light conditions on road accidents and estimate the long-run consequences of different time regimes for road safety. Identification is based on variation in light conditions induced by differences in sunrise and sunset times across space and time. We estimate that darkness causes annual costs of more than £500 million in Great Britain. By setting daylight saving time year-round, 8% of these costs could be saved. Thus, focusing solely on the short-run costs related to the transition itself underestimates the total costs of the current time regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Bünnings & Valentin Schiele, 2021. "Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back: The Effect of Daylight Saving Time on Road Safety," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 165-176, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:103:y:2021:i:1:p:165-176
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ioannis Laliotis & Guiseppe Moscelli & Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2019. "Summertime and the drivin’ is easy? Daylight Saving Time and vehicle accidents," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 150, European Institute, LSE.
    3. Jelnov, Pavel, 2021. "Sunset Long Shadows: Time, Crime, and Perception of Change," IZA Discussion Papers 14770, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Depalo, Domenico, 2023. "Should the Daylight Saving Time be abolished? Evidence from work accidents in Italy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    5. Marco Francesconi & Jonathan James, 2022. "Alcohol Price Floors and Externalities: The Case of Fatal Road Crashes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 1118-1156, September.
    6. Kudela, Peter & Havranek, Tomas & Herman, Dominik & Irsova, Zuzana, 2020. "Does daylight saving time save electricity? Evidence from Slovakia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    7. Joan Costa‐Font & Sarah Fleche & Ricardo Pagan, 2024. "The welfare effects of time reallocation: evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 91(362), pages 547-568, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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    1. Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back: The Effect of Daylight Saving Time on Road Safety (REStat 2021) in ReplicationWiki

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