Daylight Saving is ending for this year. But why do we have it?

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
November 1, 2019


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – As Daylight Saving Time ends for another year, one may ask why we do this.

Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, starting what we essentially know as Daylight Saving Time. The start dates of Daylight Saving were changed to make it longer through the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Most Americans spring forward in April by one hour and fall back an hour in November.

The United States Department of Transportation claims it saves energy, prevents traffic injuries and saves lives, and reduces crime. But does it really?

A meta-analysis in 2017 found that electricity savings adds up to only a third of a percent. But the authors also note that the closer one is to the equator, the more energy that is used.

As for crime, authors of a paper found that during the switch to saving time, robberies did drop by 7%. But the authors didn't look at the switch back to standard time.

As for traffic accidents, the evidence overall “is not statistically significant,” according to a congressional report.

With respect to health, multiple studies show the spring forward can lead to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke because sleep is being missed. As for the extra hour in the fall, one study found the shift in daylight may counteract that by messing up sleep schedules.

A recent poll found that seven out of 10 Americans disapprove of the time changes throughout the year, and there have been efforts to make changes to the current system. But, for now, the sun will rise and set a little earlier during the first weekend of November.

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