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Title: British Summertime Fact Sheet

Organisation: Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
Date uploaded: 5th November 2015
Date published/launched: October 2015

In the UK, clocks follow Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March and British Summer Time (BST), which is GMT + 1 hour, from March to October. Most of Europe follows Central European Time, which is one hour ahead of GMT in winter and 2 hours ahead of GMT in summer always one hour ahead of the UK.

This factsheet suggests that one of the consequences of the UK's system is that more people are killed and injured on the road because of darker evenings in the autumn and winter than would be if we adopted Single/Double British Summertime (SDST).

During the working week, casualty rates peak at 8am and 10 am and 3pm and 7pm, with the afternoon peak being higher for both. Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions. Every autumn when the clocks go back and sunset occurs earlier in the day, road casualties rise. The effects are worse for the most vulnerable road users like children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists.

In 2014, pedestrian deaths rose from 39 in October to 66 in November and 73 in December. Pedal cyclists deaths rose from 3 in October to 8 in November and 8 in December. The overall casualty rate increased from 637 per billion vehicle miles in October to 673 per billion vehicle miles in November, before falling back to 603 in December.

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