The Maryland House has approved a bill that would end the biannual changing of the clocks to “fall back” and “spring forward” that Americans are accustom to observing — and dreading.
Democratic Del. Brian Crosby introduced HB 126, which would making Daylight Saving Time permanent, meaning Marylanders would keep their clocks set one hour ahead of standard time all year.
“Ending biannual clock-change will keep our circadian rhythms healthy, lower crime, and help small businesses,” Crosby, who represents St. Mary’s County, said on Twitter.
Researchers say the time shift can cause circadian disruption in humans, a condition linked to countless disorders and diseases, and the loss of an hour of sleep every March takes a toll, including a higher rate of heart attacks, higher blood pressure, increased fatigue and more car crashes. Increased work injuries and a temporary increase in suicides the day after the spring time change are also evident in some studies.
The bill has been in the works since 2020 general assembly. But even if the bill passes the Senate and Gov. Larry Hogan signs it, the legislation still has a major hurdle: changes to the federal Uniform Time Act. The law allows states to exempt themselves from observing Daylight Saving Time, but requires a change in federal law to remain on Daylight Saving Time year-round.
Benefits of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight saving time (often mistaken as “daylight savings time”) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time in the spring and backwards one hour in the fall. The “springing forward” usually occurs in March or April, and the “falling back” follows sometime between September and November. The purpose of such a seemingly trivial act? To make better use of natural daylight.
Although less than 40 percent of the countries around the world use daylight saving time, the United States implemented it in 1918, and it doesn’t appear like it’s going to change anytime soon.
So, need a reason not to dread getting out of bed an hour earlier on March 12? Consider these four benefits of daylight saving time:
1. There’s more light to enjoy in the evening.
What’s better: Only a fleeting moment of daylight before work (and driving home in the dark) or being able to enjoy the daylight well into the evening hours? That’s what we thought. More light = more time to do what you want or need to do = a happier you.
2. The crime rate drops during daylight saving time.
Research has shown that robbery rates after daylight saving time fall an average of 7 percent, with a much larger 27 percent drop during those light-filled evening hours that didn’t exist before the time change. Mind. Blown.
3. It minimizes energy consumption (and lowers your costs).
When you enjoy more natural daylight, you use less artificial light — and that makes a real impact on the overall cost of energy consumption.
4. It lowers the incidence of traffic accidents.
Like driving home in the daylight versus the darkness, driving is easier when you can see your surroundings and where you’re going, right? Duh! Studies actually show that we could save hundreds of lives per year if we implemented daylight saving time year-round.
Currently, Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe Daylight Saving Time.