Clock change ushers in more road accidents26 Oct 2018

Twenty more injury crashes per day

Past experience suggests that across Great Britain this weekend’s clock change will herald an increase of some 20 more road crashes per day in which someone is hurt.

Analysis of police data from the past six years shows that in the two weeks after the Autumn clock change there were an average of 278 more personal injury collisions than in the two weeks before the clock change.

Three quarters of the extra collisions occur in the afternoons, which will be darker because of the clocks going back one hour.

However, the work by the RAC Foundation – which uses methodology developed by Road Safety Analysis in 2010 – suggests that worsening weather at this time of year could also be a significant factor.

The number of collisions where someone is hurt and the weather is reported to have been ‘adverse’ is seen to rise by a similar proportion to the overall increase in personal injury collisions, though police will not necessarily have recorded poor weather itself as a contributory factor.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Every year at about this time there are calls to abandon the spring forward, fall-back rhythm of daylight savings time, but our work suggests that it’s darker days and winter weather together that cause the spike in road safety risk.

“Rain, snow, ice, wind, mist and fog are all factors which make driving more challenging and – the data suggests – more dangerous.

“Wrapped up snugly in our warm and comfortable cars it’s easy to feel immune to the conditions outside, yet year in, year out, they take their toll on thousands of road users.”


Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | [email protected]

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.

The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.

This is a link to the clock change report:

All the RAC Foundation’s work is available on its website: