For one thing, the shift to and from standard time probably doesn’t save energy at all, although daylight saving time is probably a little better for this purpose. For another, as the legal scholars Steve P. Calandrillo and Dustin E. Buehler argue, year-round daylight saving time would probably reduce rates of street crime, which tends to take place in darkness. 2
Then there are our bodies. Our circadian rhythm needs time to adjust — and doesn’t get it. An hour of sleep is added or subtracted and we are expected to go about our business for the next week as though nothing has happened. The effect is hard to measure directly, but we can look at the results. 3 In perhaps the best-known result, a number of studies show an increase in automobile accidents as drivers adjust. 4 Many researchers also claim that the biannual change causes a modest increase in heart attacks. (Others are skeptical.) 5
So we seem to be doing harm, both to society and to our physical selves, all in the service of a back-and-forth shift driven by little but myth and habit. So I’m hopping on the bandwagon. Congress, I’m talking to you. If you want to help us in our daily lives, let’s agree to abolish standard time and grab as much daylight as we can.