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Spring forward for Daylight Saving Time: 3 reasons the DOT says we do this hated thing

Spring forward for Daylight Saving Time: 3 reasons the DOT says we do this hated thing
[Photo: Sergey Pesterev/Unsplash]

Let’s be honest: With the advent of personal computers and smartphones, the burden of Daylight Saving Time is not as heavy as it once was. The clocks on most of our devices change themselves, and the flexibility of telecommuting offers at least some workers the option of working from home after losing that precious hour. (Side note: I might be late on Monday.)

Nevertheless, these technological leaps have not lessened society’s scorn for the dreaded biannual practice. Just this week, lawmakers in Florida voted to stay in Daylight Saving Time all year round, a move that, if approved, would make Florida the third state to enact some kind of DST exemption. (Hawaii and Arizona have one, too.) Meanwhile, the EU is reviewing its own clock-changing practice, with a majority in the European Parliament concluding that it just “isn’t worth it.”

There are also endless hot takes about why the time changes are annoying, not to mention mounting evidence to support the idea that abruptly messing with people’s sleep schedules is unhealthy and dangerous.

So if everyone hates this thing, why do we do it? The Department of Transportation, which oversees the country’s time zones, give three reasons why DST is still observed:

  • Energy savings: The DOT says people more spend time outside in the evenings during DST, meaning less energy is used at home.
  • Fewer traffic deaths: During DST, more people commute and complete tasks during the daylight hours, the DOT says, when driving is generally safer.
  • Less crime: During DST, fewer people are out conducting their business at night, when more crime occurs.

Granted, DST in its current form dates back to the 1960s, and it’s possible to argue that these criteria are out of date or no longer supported by evidence. But then, upending the system could prove more trouble than its worth. It’s one of those “choose your battles” things.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying: Remember to turn your clocks forward on Sunday, March 11, at 2 a.m.! Except the clocks in your devices. Those change themselves.

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