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Ovation: Daylight Savings Time.

03/09/2014

DaylightSavingsTimeDaylight Savings Time started this morning.  There are many who think the practice of changing our clocks should be done away with.  In fact there proposed laws working their way through legislation in a couple of states in the U.S. that would keep daylight savings time year-round.

Daylight savings time has been used in the United States and in many European countries since World War I in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power.  But there are many good reasons to extend it year round.

Saving lives.  Darkness kills and it is estimated that delaying sunset by an hour could save more then 350 American lives each year by reducing traffic fatalities during the evening.  Evening rush hours are believed to produce twice as many accidents as morning rush hours because nearly everyone is awake and moving about in the early evening hours while many are still asleep at sunrise.

Reducing Crime.  Criminals thrive in darkness.  Many types of crime, including robbery, assault, vehicle theft and juvenile crime, peak during the early evening hours once the sun sets.  Corresponding rates for the same crimes are low during morning hours.  It is believed that criminals are simply “night people” and we should take an hour away from their workday.

Saving Fuel.  Because more people are awake during evening hours than early mornings, there is greater use of fossil fuels and electricity during the evenings so shifting sunlight to later in the day causes a reduction in the amount of overall energy that is used.  (This was the primary reason that the U.S. moved to year-round daylight savings time during World War II and the 1970s oil crisis.)

Health.  “Gaining” and “losing” an hour in the spring and the fall negatively alters people’s sleep cycles which impacts their health, coordination and alertness.  This altered coordination and alertness leads to increased traffic accidents and even impacts financial markets on Mondays after the time changes.

So, even though we enjoy getting that extra hour of sleep a whole lot more in the fall than we enjoy getting up an hour earlier on that one Monday in the spring, it might be much better for everyone if we kept daylight savings time all year long.  I do believe, however, that it’s important to be consistent across the nation or the confusion will outweigh any benefits that a change might bring.

What do you think?  Keep daylight savings time all year or leave things as they are?

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7 Comments
  1. thedogs'mother permalink

    We dread it because of The Engineer’s job. Since they have to be at work so early to communicate with the East Coast where The Agency Who Shall Not Be Named lives (En-Ar-Cee) his alarm tomorrow will be going off at 3.30am. sob!

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  2. Well, I DO like having daylight until after 9 pm in the summers…..

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  3. Barneysday permalink

    Actually, a recent documentary claims it was the Chamber of Commerce that pushed for daylight savings time. People were more likely to go out, and shop and spend money, if there were still daylight when they got home from work. Another group that pushed for it was the professional golf organizations, in order to get more rounds of golf in and in the same manner encourage play after work.

    According to the documentary, the fuel savings claim primarily came in during the Nixon administration and the gas shortage, to save fuel and power.

    Very interesting, whatever the story, and personally, I’d vote to not have DST.

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  4. I would vote for keeping the same time. It makes changing my grandfather clock an event in the spring.

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