Kim Shepherd, Washington Legislature, Callum Cunningham discussed on News, Traffic and Weather


Radio's Kim shepherd reports. On Sunday morning, we will all begrudgingly turn our clocks back an hour relegating ourselves to a winter of darkness. Now the Washington legislature passed a bill to make daylight saving time permanent, but we can't actually make the change until Congress acts, and so far it just hasn't been a priority. So here we go again, not only challenging our own circadian rhythms, but as it turns out, creating additional danger for wildlife. Doctor Callum Cunningham is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. We've been studying various aspects of the way that humans influence animals and we were in the course of a completely different project. Looking at the patterns of animal and human activity in relation to sunrise and sunset and one of the most striking unnatural features of that pattern is this really abrupt change in the timing of sunrise and sunset twice a year when we change between time systems. Of course, we humans can trust our phone reminders and alarm clocks to keep us on schedule, but wildlife rely on mother nature alone. Callum and his partner Laura prue wanted to understand more about the implications. So we went out and contacted every stakes Department of Transportation agency and asked them if they had data on collisions with wildlife and it turns out there was a huge amount of data in these databases mostly collected from police reports when people struck at the end. So importantly, these datasets told us the times of each collision. Deer aren't the only animals that get run over, but Callum says they are far and away the most common accounting for about 90% of these encounters. So looking at the crash data, they started to create models of what would have happened if the time and the sunset were shifted and our forward, or in our back. As we transition from this week, the next week, when we're on standard time, and that occurs because we've got more people driving out the dark, who has more difficult to be able to save the animals. And when it's probably more difficult for them to respond to rapidly approaching headlines. It's worth noting that there was no such difference in the morning around sunrise. And there's also a bigger disparity when we change the clocks in the fall versus in the spring. Because this is the time of year deer are most likely to be distracted by the rutting season. If we were to adopt a lifesaving time, as the permanent year round in time system, it would prevent about 37,000 beer deaths, 33 human deaths, more than 2000 women in injuries, and $1.2 billion in economic savings. And that's the plan that's already been adopted by the U.S. Senate still waiting for action in the house to make the shift to daylight saving permanent, meaning we would stick with our

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