The shift to and from daylight savings time and motor vehicle crashes

Accid Anal Prev. 2000 Jul;32(4):609-11. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(99)00088-3.


The objective of the study was to examine whether the shifts to and from daylight savings time in Sweden have short-term effects on the incidence of traffic crashes. A database maintained by the Swedish National Road Administration was used to examine crashes from 1984 through 1995, that occurred on state roads the Monday preceding, the Monday immediately after (index Monday), and the Monday 1 week after the change to daylight savings time in the spring and for the corresponding three Mondays in the autumn. The Mondays 1 week before and after the time changes were taken as representing the expected incidence of crashes. Crash incidence was calculated per 1000 person-years using population estimates for each year of the study. The association between 1 h of possible sleep loss and crash incidence was estimated by the incidence rate ratio from negative binomial regression. The incidence rate ratio was 1.04 (95% CI, 0.92-1.16) for a Monday on which drivers were expected to have had 1 h less sleep, compared with other Mondays. In the spring, the incidence rate ratio for crashes was 1.11 (95% CI, 0.93-1.31) for Mondays after the time change compared to other spring Mondays. The corresponding rate ratio for the fall was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.84-1.15) It was concluded that the shift to and from daylight savings time did not have measurable important immediate effects on crash incidence in Sweden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Seasons
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology