2 in 5 People Say Daylight Saving Makes Their Driving Less Safe

Daylight Saving makes people more drowsy, the roads darker and more dangerous.

2 in 5 People Say Daylight Saving Makes Their Driving Less Safe

The practice of Daylight Saving is more than a century old tradition that Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with. While we begrudgingly push our clocks forward an hour in the spring to enjoy an extra hour of evening daylight, we enjoy the extra hour of sleep in the fall in exchange for ending the day early.

Instamotor surveyed 1,000 Americans on their feelings about Daylight Savings and how it affects them. We found:

Millennials like Daylight Saving more than Gen Xers.

  • 50% of Millennials “like” Daylight Saving, compared to 39% of Gen Xers
  • 1 in 4 (26%) Millennials think we should stop practicing Daylight Saving, compared to 1 in 3 (34%) Gen Xers

People report many side-effects to Daylight Saving changes.

  • Nearly 2 in 5 (40.7%) respondents report feeling more tired than normal
  • About 1 in 5 (21.8%) respondents report feeling more depressed
  • More than a quarter (28.2%) of respondents report staying home more
  • Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) respondents report decreased productivity

Daylight Saving may make driving more dangerous.

  • 2 in 5 (40.9%) respondents say they believe it makes their driving less safe
  • More than 1 in 3 (35.1%) respondents say Daylight Saving affects their daily commute and have been late due to time changes

Facts About Daylight Saving

Contrary to popular belief, Daylight Saving was not created to help farmers.
In fact, it was strongly opposed by farmers because the loss of morning light meant they had to rush to get their crops to market for the day. Daylight Saving Time was actually first proposed by William Willet to British Parliament in 1907 as a way for citizens to take full advantage and better enjoy daylight.

Daylight Saving can be bad for your health.
There have been several studies in recent years linking Daylight Saving to negative effects on health. One 2016 study found that the overall rate for stroke was 8% higher in the two days after daylight saving time. Cancer victims were 25% more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 were 20% more likely to have a stroke.

Another 2012 study found the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time in the spring have also been associated with a 10% increase in heart attacks.

Daylight Saving actually does make the roads more dangerous.
Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder studied the daylight saving time period (from March to November) for 10 years and discovered there was a 17 percent increase in traffic incident-related deaths the Monday after the spring time change. Traffic fatalities all that week were also higher than average. Some of the effects can be attributed to lower visibility (the fact that it's earlier, and therefore darker, than drivers are accustomed to), but most of the accidents, experts say, are because people are struggling to stay awake behind the wheel.

How To Be Safer On The Road

  • Prep your car for nighttime driving. It may be common sense, but it bears repeating. Check and clean your headlights, taillights, brake lights and signal lights. After all, you want to see and be seen by other drivers on the road.

  • Know when to use your low beams and high beams. Use your low beams when you need to see about 250 feet in front of you and high beams when your visibility range is 350 to 500 feet. And, of course, dim your high beams when following another driver or approaching an oncoming car.

  • Watch out for animals on the road. Deer and other animals are most active at night, particularly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. And since more deer-related collisions occur in November than any other month, be extra careful in the weeks following daylight saving time.

  • Get rest. If you drive a lot on a regular basis, avoid the temptation to stay up extra late this Saturday night — even if you do get that bonus hour.


We survey 1,000 Americans via the survey platform Pollfish about their feelings on Daylight Saving Time and how it affects them. The survey was conducted between October 30, 2017 and October 31, 2017.

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Brionna LewisBrionna Lewis

Brionna is on a roller coaster that only goes up. You can follow her on twitter @BrionnaLewis.