Time to End Daylight Savings
Most Americans consider daylight savings time (DST) a nuisance. The common conception of daylight savings is it is an extremely tiring period when clocks move forward. Unfortunately, daylight savings is much more than just a nuisance; it is detrimental to the health of millions of Americans. Studies show that there is an increase in accidents after clocks move forward during the spring. A Swedish study stated that the risk of a heart attack increases during the first three weeks following the switch to DST in the spring. Turning back clocks in the fall is also bad for many people’s health. Losing an hour of daylight in the fall can trigger depression. There is strong evidence that daylight savings is bad for people’s health.
Why do we have daylight savings time?
The modern concept of daylight savings was introduced and championed by wealthy men in the 1900’s. These men wanted more time in the summer to enjoy their leisure activities. English building tycoon William Willett did not like cutting his round of golf short because of twilight. His solution was to advance the clock forward during the summer months. A daylight savings bill was introduced in Parliament in 1908, but it failed to pass.
During World War I, countries began implementing daylight savings as a means to conserve coal consumption. Most countries dropped daylight savings after the war, but reenacted daylight savings during World War II. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Under this law, daylight savings began on the last Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. Currently daylight savings begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Daylight savings time is an antiquated idea that is no longer needed. DST was first championed by European tycoons who wanted to have more summer hours to enjoy their leisure time. It was first implemented during World War I to save coal. It was used year round during World War II to save energy, and to give workers more daylight hours to work. Today, it seems to be just another way for the government to dictate the daily lives of its citizens.
The Uniform Time Act allows any state to be exempt from DST. Currently Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not observe daylight savings time. Hopefully, more states will enact legislation to eliminate DST soon.