Public Safety

DST risks the lives of commuting children and adults, whether we observe it seasonally or year-round.123

The springtime change to DST shocks the human circadian system with a sudden loss of 40 minutes of sleep on average.4 This disruption negatively affects reaction times,5 which causes traffic deaths in the US to spike 17% the Monday after changing to DST.6 The increase in road deaths persists at a rate of 5.6%7 to 6%8 the remaining week after changing. A minimum average of 28 lives per year are lost due to “springing forward”.8 Other studies estimate as many as 195 motorists’ and 171 pedestrians’ lives each year are lost.9

Proponents of DST claim that DST’s artificial shift of daylight from morning to evening reduces traffic deaths. The data proves otherwise. Lack of visibility is a contributing factor in DST-related traffic deaths, but sleep deprivation is the stronger cause,810 and permanent DST makes sleep deprivation chronically worse.1112

Permanent DST would force most citizens to start school or work before sunrise for a third of the year (whereas most do not now).11131415161718 Mornings are the worst time for dark commutes, when grogginess from lack of sleep (19 minutes average lost every night under DST)1920212223 is strongest for walking or busing children, inexperienced teen drivers, and driving adults alike.2425 Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of accidental death in the US.7 70% of all US pedestrian deaths occur under darkness, and 20% of all US pedestrians killed are children.26 In 1974, eight children’s lives were taken on dark winter mornings in just one month of permanent DST in Florida.92728

The National Education Association,28 the National School Boards Association,28 the National PTA,29 the American Federation of Teachers,28 and the German Teachers’ Association30 have all opposed permanent DST, citing children’s safety. The Association of Canadian Ergonomists has opposed permanent DST and endorsed permanent Standard Time, citing concerns for public health and safety.31 See Save Standard Time’s list of policy endorsements for additional organizations and individuals of note who reject permanent DST and support permanent Standard Time.

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Works Cited

1BBC StaffRussia: Putin Abolishes ‘Daylight Savings’ Time ChangeBBC News

2Clay, JoannaIs Year-Round Daylight Saving Time a Good Idea? Maybe NotUSC News

3Jennings, HayleyPermanent Daylight Saving Time: Good for Our Health?Grit Daily

4Barnes & WagnerChanging to Daylight Saving Time Cuts into Sleep and Increases Workplace InjuriesJournal of Applied Psychology

5Medina et alAdverse Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Adolescents’ Sleep and VigilanceJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

6Boynton, DonnaDeadly Car Crashes Spike After Changing Clocks for Daylight Saving TimeTelegram.com

7Smith, AustinSpring Forward at Your Own Risk: Daylight Saving Time and Fatal Vehicle CrashesAmerican Economic Journal

8Fritz et alA Chronobiological Evaluation of the Acute Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Traffic Accident RiskCurrent Biology

9Merline, JohnTime to Ditch Daylight Saving Time—It’s a Killer That Doesn’t Save EnergyInvestor’s Business Daily

10Karlik, MichaelStudy: Daylight Savings Switch Increases Fatal Car CrashesColorado Politics

11CBC StaffYear-Round Daylight Time Will Cause ‘Permanent Jet Lag,’ Sleep Experts Warn in Letter to GovernmentCBC

12SRBR StaffSRBR Talking Points About Daylight Saving TimeSociety for Research on Biological Rhythms

13Block & MeijerWho Wants to Go to Work in the Dark? Californians Need Permanent Standard TimeUCLA Newsroom

14Herf & LongcoreWhy Proposition 7 Is Bad for Public HealthMedium.com

15Juda et alAn Open Letter to the BC Government in Support of Permanent Standard TimeSimon Fraser University

16Labbe, StefanDST Switch “Reckless”: Sleep Scientists Slam Switch to Permanent Daylight Savings TimeCastanet

17Lindsay, BethanyHealth Risk Warnings Ignored as B.C. Moves to Permanent Daylight Time, Researchers SayCBC

18Meijer & FosterTime to Change—But Only to ‘Wintertime’Daylight Academy

19Cermakian et alTurn Back the Clock on Daylight Savings: Why Standard Time All Year Round Is the Healthy ChoiceThe Globe and Mail

20CSC StaffOfficial Statement of the Canadian Society for Chronobiology in Support of Year-Round Standard TimeCanadian Society for Chronobiology

21Curtis, AnnieDaylight Saving Time: Harmed by Hands of the ClockThe Irish Times

22Giuntella & MazzonnaSunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone BordersJournal of Health Economics

23Roenneberg et alDaylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones – A Battle Between Biological and Social TimesFrontiers in Physiology

24Clark, JamesDaylight Saving Year-Round: Once a Disaster, Always a DisasterOrlando Sentinel

25Herf, MichaelWhy Standard Time Is BetterMedium.com

26Mercury News StaffFor Kids’ Sake, Vote No on Year-Round Daylight-Saving TimeThe Mercury News

27Downing, MichaelOne Hundred Years Later, the Madness of Daylight Saving Time EnduresThe Conversation

28Jenkins, EvanSchools Ask End to Daylight TimeThe New York Times

29Achenbach, JoelSpringing Forward to Daylight Saving Time Is Obsolete, Confusing and Unhealthy, Critics SayThe Washington Post

30DL StaffPermanent Change to Summer Time Would Be Irresponsible!German Teachers’ Association

31Association of Canadian Ergonomists2019 December 17Facebook