Brits are bracing themselves for longer hours of darkness as they prepare to put their clocks back by an hour at 2am on Sunday (27 October).

36% of respondents are worried about driving accidents as the clocks go back – and with good reason.

As the clocks are changed back to GMT from BST (GMT+1), research by Santander reveals that 85% of Brits claim they are adversely affected by daylight saving time.

Almost half (45%) of UK adults feel more depressed during the dark winter months and a considerable proportion feel their safety is more at risk.

36% of respondents are worried about driving accidents as the clocks go back and 27% feel more at risk of personal injury caused by accidents and crime.

As a result, 59% of those questioned are opposed to turning the clocks back and 24% believe the UK should adopt Central European Time (CET), which is always one hour ahead of the UK.

This would provide additional hours of daylight in the evenings, which could not only lift moods but may also bring down road traffic accident rates.

How would the switch affect accident rates on the road?

As the sun sets progressively early in the day, road casualties rise accordingly. The overall casualty rate increased from 664 per billion vehicle miles in September 2012 to 692 per billion vehicle miles in November 2012.

In the same year, pedestrian deaths stood at 32 in September, 40 In October and 61 in December.

This highlights one of the consequences of the UK’s system – that more people are killed and injured on Britain’s roads because of the darker months.

There have been calls to adopt GMT+1 in the winter months and GMT+2 in the summer months, leading to lighter evenings all year round and resulting in fewer people being fatally or seriously injured on the roads.

In 2009, the Department for Transport’s consultation paper, A Safer Way: Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World, confirmed that the move to lighter evenings would prevent about 80 deaths. Further research found this approach could also prevent 212 serious injuries on the road a year.*

If you are involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, and negligence or blame can be proved to lie elsewhere, we can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf.

*A New Assessment of the Likely Effects on Road Accidents of Adopting SDST”, TRL Report TRL368, Broughton, J and Stone, M. 1998.