What Would Happen If We Got Rid of Daylight Saving Time?

Today’s the day we turn back our clocks, going from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time. In March, Senator Marco Rubio reintroduced a bill to end DST across the nation, but we’re still waiting to see if it will move forward. So far, only two states — Hawaii and Arizona — have opted out of DST, and that was way back in the 1960s. Both Oklahoma and Texas have pending legislation to make do away with DST, while 19 other states have passed legislation calling for DST to be permanent. So, why do people want to get rid of DST? First and foremost, people are just tired of having to change their clocks twice a year. Other issues that come into play include the disruption in sleep that messes up a person's circadian rhythm, leading to bigger health issues. Research has found that the DST changes are associated with a 24% increase in heart attacks on the Monday following the change. There’s also research that has found an increase in hospitalizations for stroke in the two days following the DST change, with the overall rate of ischemic stroke being 8% higher in those days than at any other time of year. There’s also the cost savings. A major drawback of DST is that it’s very costly for companies, since business hours and operations need to adjust every Spring. Experts estimate that the biannual time change costs the U.S. around $430 billion every year. Changing crime rates have to also be taken into consideration. Research has found that by extending evening daylight hours as we do in the Spring, robberies have been reduced by 7% from the day before, and overall crime has gone down by 27%. Finally, the changing of the clocks has been associated with an increase in fatal auto accidents. It is theorized that these auto accidents occur because drivers are tired from losing the hour of sleep after the Spring change. Despite the debate, daylight saving time is not ending anytime soon. Most states will still turn their clocks forward and backward for the foreseeable future.