The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is freedom from the twice-yearly practice of changing the clocks. The first Sunday in November is the day that millions of Americans turn their clocks back one hour to mark the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST). This is an annual practice that Americans have observed for more than 50 years. However, Arizona does not have DST, and 29 states have introduced legislation to abolish the twice-yearly switching of clocks.
Several of the states had a condition that must be met before they would extend DST to a year-round practice – the neighboring states would have to do the same. However, the Department of Transportation has the power to make a permanent change nationwide.
Like Arizona, DST does not make since in Alaska. We do not need extra daylight at the end of the day when daylight lasts from early in the morning until 11:00 at light. The opposite is true in the winter. The time does not matter much when the sun comes up around 10:00 in the morning and sets before 4:00 in the afternoon. People go to work and school in the dark and come home in the dark no matter if we have DST or not.
The changing of the clocks makes no difference in the light available in Alaska when it is summer or winter. However, there are places where there is a difference. Megan Fisher reported a new study that year-round Daylight Savings Time could save the lives of 36,550 deer and 33 humans every year.
A new study contends that switching to year-round daylight savings time would significantly reduce the number of deer and vehicle collisions, leading to the saving of human and deer lives and billions of dollars in collision costs. As it stands now, over 2.1 million deer and vehicle collisions happen yearly, causing more than $10 billion in damages, 440 human deaths and 59,000 human injuries.
The study, published on Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology, estimates that if the United States halted the switch from standard time to daylight saving time in autumn it would prevent the death of 36,550 deer, 33 humans, the injury of 2,054 humans and save up to $1.19 billion in collision costs annually….
The time switch occurs at the worst possible time for deer – mating season. During mating season deer, particularly males of the white-tailed deer species, are significantly more active. Researchers found that collisions with deer rose by 16% during the first week after the switch….
The study arrives as the question of whether … daylight saving time is being debated within the federal government. The Sunshine Protection Act, passed by the Senate in 2021 and awaiting confirmation by the House, would by November 2023 make daylight saving time permanent year-round in all states except Hawaii and Alaska. The act has been criticized by health officials and sleep experts, while many researchers hope the change would lead to fewer vehicular crashes.
I do not know or understand why Alaska was listed as an exception to permanent year-round Daylight Savings Time. Alaskans fight the urge to hibernate whatever time the sun goes down!
I hate the fact that I have to change the clocks twice each year. I usually lose several days of productivity while my body makes the adjustment. It is even worse if I happen to be traveling the same weekend that time changes. I prefer keeping the same time all year. I have heard of parents who keep their bedtimes at the same time all year – no matter what the clock says.