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Staying permanently on British Summer Time could significantly reduce road casualties

According to Department for Transport statistics, the number of road fatalities and casualties hits a peak in October, November and December, despite the fact that road usage actually drops significantly in those months.

More than 1,200 children have been killed on the roads in the past 10 years and the peak time for pedestrian casualties is just after 4pm on weekdays when children are making their way home from school. 

Last year, the number of children killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads was 2,060 – almost six a day and a rise of 3% on 2013.

Hellawell compiled the research into child casualties for dashcam specialist SmartWitness where he is non-executive chairman.

SmartWitness found that the numbers of casualties per mile rises steeply in the last three months of the year because driver and pedestrian reaction times are much worse in the dark. 

Hellawell said: “The SmartWitness research has been taken from Department for Transport statistics and they clearly show that the number of accidents in the evening is significantly higher than those in the morning – around 37% higher – so by sticking with British Summer Time and therefore having lighter afternoons and darker mornings it’s statistically sound to expect that there would be hundreds of fewer road casualties in the last three months of the year.

“The last time there was any serious research done on increased casualties due the end of British Summer Time was back in 1970, and there needs to be more modern analysis implemented at the very least because children’s and other pedestrians’ lives are at stake."

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.