Breakdown: Why we turn back time each year

Breakdown-why we fall back each year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Have you ever wondered why we fall back? The reason behind the extra hour is to adjust the daylight hours to be more usable when most of us are awake. It is meant to increase the amount of daylight we see in the morning. It was thought that this shift would allow us to save on energy but some studies show that this is not the case.

In the years after World War II, individual states and communities decided whether they wanted to keep Daylight Saving and when to implement it. This created some confusion because some cities were an hour behind others even though they may have only been a few miles apart. Congress decided to eliminate the confusion so the Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966, it standardized the length of Daylight Saving for the country.

Daylight Saving Time is most useful for areas that are located farther from the equator, where daylight hours are much longer in the summer than in the winter. In areas close to the equator, daylight hours and nighttime hours are pretty equal in length all year. That is why some states like parts of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa don’t participate.

Currently approximately 70 countries participate in Daylight Saving Time, but some are not on the same schedule as the United States.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that daylight saving wasn’t saving energy. The NBER found that the energy that was being saved was being used during the darker winter mornings. Studies also revealed that fuel cost increased because the extra hours encouraged people to travel and use the extra hour. On the other hand, the NBER found that more daylight meant more outside play time for kids.

However, those who support Daylight Saving Time argue that it reduces crime and automobile accidents, and improve energy conservation by allowing people to use less energy to light their businesses and homes. Other studies like the one done by the (NBER) argue the exact opposite and argue that we don’t save energy, and that our bodies can be thrown out of whack and that car accidents rise in the evening when it is darker. No matter how you feel, it will take an act of Congress to change it.

Don’t forget that it is a good time to check the batteries in the smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, check your furnaces and water heaters as well as clean your gutters and prepare for it to get dark sooner.

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