Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn Meadow and Time Savings

Daylight Saving Time is right around the corner, and I know plenty of people who are not excited about it. I have always wondered it we actually saved time with this practice. I think it is more of a time shift.

What are the reasons behind this Fall-back one hour habit? From what I can find, it comes down to booze, candy, oil, accidents, and train schedules...

"In the United States, Daylight Saving Time commences at 2:00 a.m. to minimize disruption. Did you know that many bars fought about the timing of our clock change? Many states restrict bars from serving alcohol between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. At 2:00 a.m. in the fall, however, the time switches back one hour. So, can bars serve alcohol for that additional hour?

Through 2006, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. ended a few days before Halloween (October 31). Children’s pedestrian deaths are four times higher on Halloween than on any other night of the year. A new law to extend DST to the first Sunday in November took effect in 2007, with the purpose of providing trick-or-treaters more light and therefore more safety from traffic accidents.
Following the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months, rather than the normal six months. During that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day - a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years.

In addition, some argue that there is a public health benefit to Daylight Saving Time, as it decreases traffic accidents. Several studies in the U.S. and Great Britain have found that the DST daylight shift reduces net traffic accidents and fatalities by close to one percent. An increase in accidents in the dark mornings is more than offset by the evening decrease in accidents.

Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. Standard time was codified for the United States and Canada based on train schedules, and it is from this method that we base our time change requirements."

So, time shifting has a long history and plenty of pros and cons. I feel a little bit better now knowing some of the reasons and discussions behind the required task. Do I like it any better? No, I do not. I guess I will have to reconsider moving closer to the equator, where time shifting is not used. Wait, that will get me 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. I guess I am staying put...

Enjoy your daylight hours this week!

P.S. I also learned that it is not Daylight Savings Time", but "Saving" time. Guess that is my "something new" I needed to learn today ;)

1 comment:

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