The Argument For and Against Daylight Saving Time

As I awoke Sunday morning I quickly realized that it was no longer 8AM but was instead now 7AM.  After getting up I began to think about the return to standard time and the positives of having daylight saving time be a year round policy.  This inevitably got me thinking about the counter-arguments of daylight saving time being extended year round.

YEAR-ROUND DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

What got me thinking about year long daylight saving time was a great law review article from Wake Forest Law School which can be found here.  Daylight saving time is when the clocks are set forward in the spring.  Standard time is what were are on now, think "Fall Back".  

Positives of year long daylight saving time:

  • Decrease in energy consumption due to more daylight hours when people are actually awake
  • Decrease in pedestrian and motor vehicle accident-related deaths due to more daylight hours during peak drive times
  • Decrease in crime due to one more hour of daylight in the afternoon hours
  • Increase in quality of life due to the availability to enjoy the outside after work hours (bit of a soft-factor and subjective, but applicable in my opinion)
  • No time change=No adjustment to sleep schedule and no grogginess at work the week following the change in time

Negatives of year long daylight saving time:

  • Alleged increase in school student fatalities.  This was based on some data in 1974 and only FL and CA noticed any slight increase.  The simple solution to this would be to have the schools adjust the start times to make sure the children were not to begin school until after the sun rises.
  • AM stations loss of income.  Might have been an issue 40 years ago, but a non-issue nowadays
  • Disadvantage to farmers.  When the US went to year long daylight saving time under President Nixon in 1974 farmers complained that they lost an hour of useable light in the morning because they had to wait for the dew on their crops to subside.  A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the experiment in 1974 did not significantly affect agricultural activities or productivity.  When there was a push in 2007 to implement daylight saving time all year the farming community was opposed to the change this time around.  

The arguments for and against year long daylight saving time have been going on for a century now and when put into effect, most notably WWI and WWII, daylight saving time saved a lot of energy as well as energy-related costs.  With Massachusetts possibly going to year-round daylight saving time we'll hopefully have an idea on the likelihood of nationwide year-round daylight saving time in the future.