It’s time to stop falling back

Let’s spring forward and never go back

Kelly Feng, Managing Editor

This month, the same day clocks turned back an hour because of daylight saving time, my friend’s son was involved in a car accident. He was driving from Indiana to Illinois when his vehicle was involved in a five-car pile-up. Luckily he and his passengers survived without injury.
Incidents like this often occur because of sleeplessness and confusion heightened by the time change. These events make us pause and reflect on the merit of moving clocks twice a year, once in March and once in November. The autumn time change it’s called the “end of daylight saving time” or “standard” time.
An article in the National Public Radio references a study that argues permanent daylight saving time, where we “spring forward” an hour but don’t change in the fall, would decrease deer-vehicle collisions.
According to the study, deer-vehicle crashes are 14 times more likely shortly after dusk than before. Nighttime traffic and deer-vehicle accidents are more frequent during standard time, and collisions with deer increased by 16% in the week following the fall clock change.
Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a bi-partisan bill called the Sunshine Protection Act. The bill would make daylight saving permanent, providing later sundown and a later sunrise all year round, moving the clock ahead in the spring but remaining the same in the fall.
The bill rapidly moved through the Senate last April but hasn’t yet passed through Congress.
Notable drawbacks are farmers who want sunrise to come earlier and children having to go to school in the dark.
Critics argue against a permanent daylight saving time because early morning hours would remain dark. While this is true, remember COVID-19 and information technology have made coordinating and arranging these issues less of a concern than ever.
The pandemic established an unexpected success of working from home, where employees proved it worked. For example, if the bill passes and school starts later in the winter, that will prevent working parents from getting to the office at the usual hour. In the past, arriving late would have been a deal breaker for any parent, sometimes ending a career.
These days, arriving after the usual time is business as usual.
Software like Zoom, which rapidly appeared and became popular during the pandemic, will continue to work regardless of what Congress decides. Workers can also take advantage of scheduling programs such as Calendly and Google Calendar. Most people who utilize this software don’t need to know their office mate’s time zones.
Nobody likes changing the clocks twice a year, causing accidents, confusion and sleeplessness.
So let’s remain on permanent daylight saving time, observed from March until November.
Everybody can agree that we need more sunshine, figuratively and literally. And even though Americans stand on different sides of the political aisle, more sunlight is something our country can agree on.