Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Time Change: Springing Forward – Here We Go Again

    March 11, 2010 by Alan Bristol · Leave a Comment 

    It’s that time of the season again. Yes, the time for resetting our clocks. On, or just before, 2:00 AM – Sunday, March 14 gets here, set your watches and clocks ahead one hour. The catchy little phrase “Spring ahead, Fall back” may help with this concept. I don’t know about you but the last thing my circadian rhythm needs is this biannual cheap shot. By the way, have you ever thought how ludicrous the term ” Time Change” is? I mean there are still 24 hours in a day, right? It’s not as if we are changing the rotational speed of the earth on it’s axis or anything.

    Due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving Time has been four weeks longer since 2007. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours. Realistically, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine so called “energy” savings from Daylight Saving Time. Based on a variety of factors, it is quite possible and the opinion of this writer, that little or no power, or fuel is saved by Daylight Saving Time.

    It seems that Arizona (except some Indian Reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa have chosen not to observe Daylight Saving Time. I am a huge champion of state’s rights but this just breeds confusion. Come on Arizona, you need to give this one up. I mean the nation of Kyrgyzstan is the only country that observes year-round Daylight Saving Time! Difference is, I don’t care about them because I don’t drive there.

    If you are a professional driver, here is the part I want to stress. When clocks are set forward an hour in the spring, accidents go up according to a 1998 study of the effect of daylight saving time. Sleep deprivation is considered the most likely cause of a 17 percent increase in accidents on the Monday following the time change. The study also found no significant reduction in accidents in the fall when clocks are set back an hour.

    So by all means make sure, that you take steps to get a normal, restful amount of sleep this weekend. I don’t want anyone, especially a truck driver to be involved in an accident on the Sunday or Monday that follow this change. If you take only one thing away after reading this, let it be - plan ahead and exercise caution.

    You may be thinking that I believe Daylight Saving Time is foolish hoax. If so, you are correct. But as my friend Jason here said to me today, “Yeah I know, but what can you do?”.

    © 2010, Truck Drivers News. All rights reserved.

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