Daylight saving time began in the United States on March 31, 1918, as an attempt to save fuel during World War I. The logic was that if it stayed lighter for longer in the evening, then lamps and coal would be used less frequently. Eventually, DST became known as “war time,” a time hop implemented permanently twice – once during WWII and again in the 1970s.
Today, daylight saving time is used in many countries around the world for part of the year. In the United States, all but Arizona and Hawaii abide by it – that is, until this year. On March 15, 2022, the Senate unanimously approved a bill to stabilize DST, making it permanent as of November 20, 2023. This will go into effect if it’s approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Biden. What are some of the pros and cons of permanent DST? Let’s discuss!
Pros of Permanent Daylight Saving Time
More daylight can potentially make driving safer, minimizing car crashes and reducing the risk of pedestrians being hit by cars. Plus, with more daylight, crime rates may fall, as most robberies, stabbings and shootings happen when it’s dark. More daylight in the evening will also make it safer for people to walk their dogs and exercise outside and for children to play outside after school.
Good for the Economy
If there’s more daylight in the evening, more people will be out and about. That means more meals eaten in restaurants and more shopping after work hours. Statistically speaking, the longer the sun is out, the more consumers spend on the things they enjoy instead of being cooped up in their homes.
Promote Active Lifestyles
When the sun is out, so are people, which means they are more likely to participate in some type of physical activity. Conversely, when it’s dark out, it’s easier for people to stay in, watch television, and snack.
Cons of Permanent Daylight Saving Time
Many scientists and sleep experts support getting rid of changing the clocks twice a year, but instead, they believe standard time, not daylight saving time, is better for our health. Why? Because standard time is more closely associated with our intrinsic circadian rhythms. Experts say disrupting this pattern and transitioning to DST can cause a high risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and depression and affect the digestive and endocrine systems. Some say it can even alter life expectancy.
All in all, we challenge you to consider: Is permanent DST worth it?