Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2010, Article ID 657167, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/657167
Research Article

Daylight Saving Time Transitions and Road Traffic Accidents

1Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, 00271 Helsinki, Finland
2Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions, Helsinki, Finland

Received 29 October 2009; Revised 11 March 2010; Accepted 4 May 2010

Academic Editor: Evelyn O. Talbott

Copyright © 2010 Tuuli Lahti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Circadian rhythm disruptions may have harmful impacts on health. Circadian rhythm disruptions caused by jet lag compromise the quality and amount of sleep and may lead to a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and loss of attention and alertness. Even a minor change in time schedule may cause considerable stress for the body. Transitions into and out of daylight saving time alter the social and environmental timing twice a year. According to earlier studies, this change in time-schedule leads to sleep disruption and fragmentation of the circadian rhythm. Since sleep deprivation decreases motivation, attention, and alertness, transitions into and out of daylight saving time may increase the amount of accidents during the following days after the transition. We studied the amount of road traffic accidents one week before and one week after transitions into and out of daylight saving time during years from 1981 to 2006. Our results demonstrated that transitions into and out of daylight saving time did not increase the number of traffic road accidents.