Basics

Currently, most states enact Daylight Saving Time from March through November. From November, through March, states are on what’s called Standard Time.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a wartime invention that was designed to save electricity. Studied under modern-day conditions, DST has not been shown to save energy, and in fact may increase energy consumption.

The costs of switching clocks twice per year are now well-documented. The sudden shift in schedules increases the risk of auto accidents, heart attacks, and workplace injuries.

Given these costs, many states are seeking to put an end to these twice-yearly clock shifts. However, some states want to make DST permanent instead of reverting to Standard Time year-round.

While year-round DST may sound like a nice idea, it would have negative effects on health. Permanent DST would lead to later sunrises in the winter, with many people starting their workday in darkness. This would create a stress on the circadian system, similar to what shift work does.

Later sunrises in the winter may also create a safety hazard for school children waiting for the bus in darkness. This is one reason why the Florida PTA was opposed to the year-round DST bill in Florida.

We can also learn from other countries experiments with permanent DST. Russia adopted permanent Daylight Saving Time in 2011. Immediately, there was a spike in morning road accidents, as well as other negative effects on health. The Russian parliament voted 442-1 to change course and adopt permanent Standard Time in 2014.