PROS AND CONS OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

by Doug on March 13, 2009

For those who are affected by the time change March 8th, we hope you are used to it by now.  There are pro’s and con’s of the merits of this rule that certain states follow, but one can’t help but wonder if it is really worth all the trouble.

Maybe it’s a Catch-22, because research has shown that traffic fatalities are reduced when there is more afternoon light; however, the early morning darkness brings more danger for workers commuting to work, and children walking to catch the school bus in the dark.  Then, when the time changes again in November, statistics show an increase in evening traffic accidents immediately following the change.

A study done by the National Sleep Foundation showed that immediately following the time change in the spring:

  • 40% of adults were sleepy enough that it interfered with their daily activities,
  • 62% drove while drowsy,
  • 27% dozed off (if only for a few seconds) while driving,
  • 18% experienced sleepiness at least a few days per week, and
  • 32% know someone who had an accident by falling asleep at the wheel.

Time change also brings disruptions to meetings, travel, billing systems, records management, which can be very costly.  Some computer systems automatically change over; however, there are many that don’t.

Those favoring Daylight Savings Time enjoy sporting activities after working hours, and retail businesses love it because it gives them the opportunity to remain open in order for folks to shop after work.  Farmers who rise before dawn and depend on working by sunlight may not be as happy with Daylight Savings Time.  During harvesting of grain, for example, they must wait until the dew evaporates, leaving less time for their helpers to do their job.

Other businesses that are affected negatively are evening entertainment providers, such as theaters, drive-in theaters, and primetime broadcast networks.

It was predicted that there would be a reduction in power usage with days having more sunlight, but it has been shown that power usage increased in the early morning hours, as people must get up in the dark and prepare for their day.

Some of us take the change in stride, and never worry about the difference an hour makes. (After all, we get it back in the fall.)  The main thing is that we adapt and be thankful we are able to carry on, and have the freedom to complain about things we don’t like.  Stay safe, and make the most of that extra hour of daylight!

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