It’s Daylight Saving Time (DST) — and you know what that means. Nearly the entire country will be moving their clocks forward one hour. But for residents in Florida, the time change may be the last one ever.
This is because, on Tuesday, the state Senate passed the “Sunshine Protection Act“. CNN Reports that the bill was approved in just two minutes and there were only two dissenters. The “Sunshine Protection Act” will now make its way to the desk of Governor Rick Scott. If he signs the Act, it will then be reviewed by Congress. If approved, Florida residents will live in DST all year long.
The Uniform Time Act was established in 1966. So far, Hawaii and most of Arizona are the only states exempt from the Act. If all goes according to plan, Florida will join them.
Is Daylight Saving Time necessary?
This question has been asked for decades and is still being debated today.
One popular argument is that Daylight Saving Time conserves energy. However, the savings — if any — are negligible. In 2008, a study by the US Department of Energy concluded that Daylight Saving Time reduces the energy use each year by just 0.03%. And, another study conducted in Indiana found that energy use increased slightly as a result of moving the clocks forward.
An argument has also been made that Daylight Saving Time reduces traffic accidents, as there is more light for commuters to see. But, this isn’t exactly the case. It is true that the switch to standard time coincides with an increase in accidents. However, there is also a spike in accidents immediately following the time shift. Experts theorize this is because people are sleepier than usual, reports CottageLife.
Should the entire United States ditch Daylight Saving Time? It may actually be better for the populace’s health. According to a 2012 study, there is a 10 percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday and Tuesday following the shift to DST. There is no hard data to support why this happens, but theories suggest it occurs due to a disruption in circadian rhythm, sleep deprivation, and possibly an immune response. Intriguingly, the risk of heart attack also falls by 10 percent following the shift back to standard time.
Time will reveal if Daylight Saving Time remains a fixture in most American states, or if the recent legislation passed in Florida becomes more common.
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