LAS CRUCES — The end of daylight saving time brings an increase of grousing everywhere and, studies have shown, more car crashes in most places.

But apparently not in Las Cruces this year.

According to data provided by the Las Cruces Police Department, there were an average of 90.6 car crashes reported in each of the six weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 end of daylight saving time.

The week after daylight saving time, LCPD logged 89 reported car crashes.

LCPD Sgt. Roberto Gutierrez, who works a late shift, said he noticed, anecdotally, that the number of car crashes after Nov. 4 seemed to decline from the weeks before. Until asked about it this week, he said it wasn't something he generally paid attention to over the years.

A study published by the World Association of Sleep Medicine analyzed 21 years of traffic data. It reported that there was "a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to (daylight saving time). There was also a significant increase in number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from (daylight saving time)."

In Las Cruces that number dropped slightly.

According to the summary of events released daily by LCPD, there were an average of 6.3 car crashes reported on the final three Sundays of daylight saving time.

There were five car crashes reported to LCPD after the Nov. 4 clock switch that results in more sleep for many, but a darker drive home in the evening.


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The sudden and increased volume of dusk and night traffic brought by the time change is part of the issue.

In a discussion on the Sun-News Facebook page, Jamie O'Hara wrote: "It just drives me crazy that folks don't turn on the headlamps ... the statute prescribes. It is so that other drivers can see your car when everything is grey or the sun on the horizon is blinding them."

Carol Ketchum Gaussoin wrote that she had seen more car crashes due to daylight saving time, using that as one of many reasons why she thinks New Mexico should follow Arizona and not observe daylight saving time.

Vivian Moore said it doesn't matter.

"I don't think the time change has anything to do with the crashes," Moore wrote. "The crashes happen because drivers will not follow the laws of the road."

James Staley may be reached at 575-541-5476. Follow him on Twitter @auguststaley