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Scott Yates was just another person who thought switching his clocks in and out of daylight saving time (DST) was annoying—until he discovered how the twice-yearly time changes were harming our well-being. The revelation inspired the Denverite to become an advocate for the #LockTheClock movement, which helped lead to this past June’s passage of House Bill 22-1297, designating Colorado a permanent DST state (see: later sunsets year-round). At press time, Congress was debating whether to institute full-time DST for the entire country, legislation that would trump the Colorado bill. In the meantime, we asked Yates to explain why the change would be welcome news.
Tons of greenhouse gas emissions saved each day in Turkey after permanent DST was instituted in 2016, according to the Economic Research Forum. “Some researchers are still torn on whether staying in DST can actually save energy,” Yates says. “But initial findings suggest that it can reduce air pollution from coal and gas plants.”
Decline in individual morality after losing 2.1 hours of sleep, according to the Journal of Sleep Research. The brains behind the paper hypothesized that the time switch could cause executives to cut corners on projects and police officers to be less likely to report mistreatment of suspects. Plus, researchers have found that assault rates in some U.S. cities spike in November after DST ends.
Up to 1,800:
Fewer cancer deaths annually in Indiana after the state moved to using DST in 2006, according to a study published in the Journal of Population Economics. While the author isn’t certain why staying in DST had such a positive effect, he believes it’s because of the added vitamin D and the lack of stress from time switches.
Drop in daily credit card spending per capita following DST. Researchers with the JP Morgan Chase Institute found that shoppers in Los Angeles spent less in the month following the November time change because early darkness discouraged them from going to the store, potentially harming local retailers and, thus, the economy.
Increase in fatal car accidents per year in the United States after the “spring forward” time change, according to a Current Biology study. (Icy pavement and sleepy drivers are a bad combination.) “If sticking to one time was the norm year-round and someone proposed a time change that would ‘only’ kill 20 or 30 people a year, we would think that’s a preposterous idea,” Yates says. “But since it’s normalized, we just go with it.”