Troy Schwans | Writer
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. As DST starts, which was the case in March, the sun rises and sets later, on the clock, than the day before. But this weekend, as we end Daylight Saving Time, the sun will rise and set earlier, on the clock, making our mornings brighter sooner, but our evenings darker sooner.
Today, about 40% of countries worldwide use it to make better use of daylight and to conserve energy.
However, DST is not without controversy. Proposals to stay on standard time or move to full-time DST appear on the legislative agenda in the United States nearly every clock change. Since 2015, more than 200 daylight saving bills and resolutions have been introduced in almost every state across the US, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Several US states have passed bills in favor of permanent DST. However, they need congressional approval to abolish the time change. For this to happen, Congress first has to pass a federal law allowing states to observe DST year-round, because today’s law only allows states to forgo DST.
So why use DST? Again around 40% of the countries in the world use DST. Some countries use it to make better use of the natural daylight in the evenings. The difference in light is most noticeable in the areas at a certain distance from Earth’s equator.
Some studies show that DST could lead to fewer road accidents and injuries by supplying more daylight during the hours more people use the roads. Other studies claim that people’s health might suffer due to DST changes.
DST is also used to reduce the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting during the evening hours. However, many studies disagree about DST’s energy savings, and while some studies show a positive outcome, others do not.
However, whatever your thoughts happen to be on DST, your clocks will need to “fall back” this weekend as we lose that extra hour of evening sunlight that Daylight Saving Time originally gave us this spring!