DST is sound public policy for reasons that have been largely ignored by politicians. Standard time causes early-evening darkness. There are about twice as many traffic fatalities during early-evening darkness as there are during morning darkness because nearly everyone in society is awake and moving around in the evening, while many are still asleep at 7 a.m.
Eliminating the biannual clock switch itself saves lives by avoiding disrupting sleep patterns. Studies show that heart attacks and car accidents increase after we switch the clocks whether we lose or gain an hour of sleep.
Criminals like to work in darkness and are notoriously late-risers. Estimates are that crime would decrease up to 20 percent from switching to year-round DST by removing one hour of darkness from criminals’ workday.
Most Read Opinion Stories
- Impeachment in the House is the victory | Charles M. Blow / Syndicated columnist
- The courthouse will be safer, but what about the rest of downtown Seattle? | Editorial
- A divided America needs a one-nation centrist party | Op-Ed
- Derailment report shows how much Sound Transit must improve | Editorial
- Congress’ theater of the absurd | Horsey cartoon
Finally, DST saves energy by giving us one extra hour in the evening where we are awake and the sun is helping to heat our homes.
Steve Calandrillo, University of Washington School of Law