OPINION: Take the step: Abolish Daylight Savings

Annette Berntsen

Lantern Staff

Well, it is that time of year again – when you wake up unnecessarily more tired than ever and the sun never seems to set. That’s right – Daylight Savings time. Because of its negative effects on health and safety, Kansas should push forward to abolish Daylight Savings.  

Each year on the second week of March marks the starting of Daylight Savings. During this period, clocks are set back one hour to provide an extra hour of sunlight in the evening until November. According to National Geographic, Daylight Savings first began in Germany in 1916 to utilize sunlight and save energy during World War I. While this may prove effective, the negative effects outweigh the positive ones.  

Healthline.com states that from 732,835 car accidents recorded from 1996 to 2017. There was a 6% increase in accidents following the switch to Daylight Savings time. While this might not seem like a significant percentage, it ultimately results in 28 more deaths per year that could easily be prevented.  

This is just one example of the negative health effects from Daylight Savings. There are also studies that show an increase of heart attacks and work accidents on the Monday following the switch, not to mention the lack of motivation because of the excessive tiredness and thrown-off sleep patterns.  

As of right now, Kansas House Bill (HB) 2060 would abolish the time change and instead stay in Daylight Savings time. Although an earlier bill, Kansas HB 2008, which died in committee, was proposed in 2019 that would set clocks at Standard time permanently. This bill was not passed because of the issues of possible confusion in scheduling and times in cities that share state lines like Kansas City.  

Understandably, there will be confusion if Kansas chooses to stick to a permanent time. But if states like Arizona and Alaska can manage, why can’t we all make the change? Not only will it set everyone on the same level, but it also eliminates that extra calculation needed when traveling to a different time zone. 

I understand that Daylight Savings allows more time for evening activities, but is it worth risking someone’s health for a few extra hours of sunlight? That is the question we need to ask ourselves. With most states already on the brink of making the decision for a permanent time, why not set off that chain reaction by taking the lead and making the change here in Kansas?

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