It’s Time to End Day Light Saving Time Forever
I can't be the only person who thinks it's ridiculous that in this day and age we still adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time. It seems no one can really pinpoint the benefits of it, and I think it's time we get rid of it for good.
It was not observed nationally until World War II. The idea was to save fuel by reducing the need to use artificial lighting. WWII is long over, so why do we still observe it today?
The act of alternating between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time began when Congress introduced The Uniform Time Act of 1966, and since then Congress can't stop tweaking it. In 1973 DST was observed all year long, instead of just Spring and Summer. The standardized version of beginning at 2:00 AM on the first Sunday in April and and ending on the last Sunday in October didn't begin until 1986. It was switched again in 2007 when they moved it to the second Sunday in March and ending in the first Sunday in November.
So, the point of DST was originally to be more energy efficient. That seems plausible. However, when Indiana decided to introduce DST in 2006, a study found that it actually increased energy use in the state proving that the amount of energy saved from DST is negligible.
Some people suggest that it's to help the farmers. In Indiana where half the state observes DST and half does not, farmers have opposed the move to DST because it doesn't really help them. The clock does not determine when most farmers wake up. They have chores to do in the wee hours of the morning no matter what time it is. In fact the change in time has been said to greatly inconvenience farmers who have to change their schedule in order to sell their crops to people who observe DST.
Many people have cited safety as one of the main reasons for wanting to keep DST, saying that studies have found that DST contributes to improved road safety by reducing pedestrian fatalities by 13% during dawn and dusk hours. Another study found a 7% decrease in robberies following the Spring shift to DST. But what about during the Fall switch?
The only real "benefit" comes at the cost of less daylight in the morning. One of the reasons year-round DST was repealed in 1973 was because of an increased number of of school bus accidents in the morning.
A study by Stanley Coren of the University of Columbia - Vancouver, of traffic accidents in Canada before, during, and immediately following DST alarmingly found an 8% spike in traffic accidents on the Monday after clocks are moved forward. He attributes it to a lack of sleep. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine Coren explained, "These data show that small changes in the amount of sleep that people get can have major consequences on everyday activities." Follow-up research showed that even an hour's change can disrupt sleep patterns and can "persist for up to five days after each time shift."
Our body clocks are used to following a routine, and switching things up even if it's only by an hour can really screw us up. (Think about people who work swing shifts). For most people it's merely in inconvenience to be tired, but for others it could have some devastating consequences. Studies link the lack of sleep at the start of DST to automobile accidents, workplace injuries, suicide, and even miscarriages. Your risk of suffering a heart attack in the Spring when we move the clocks forward increases and in the Winter the early evening darkness has been linked to depression.
As far as I'm concerned, Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time, it doesn't matter to me. Pick one.... AND LEAVE IT ALONE!!!