Adopting year-round daylight saving time could literally save lives

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Most of us will feel a little bit jet lagged come Monday thanks to daylight saving time. But there's a chance the twice yearly time shift could go away in the future.
This week, a group of D.C. lawmakers introduced a house bill a called the Sunshine Protection Act. It proposes year-round daylight savings time across the country. Researchers have found that a permanent shift to daylight saving time could actually save lives.

“We will all be groggy on Monday, and it turns out we don't drive as well when we're groggy,” said Laura Grant, an environmental economics researcher. “People have found increases in car accidents.”

According to data from the National Highway Transportation Administration, the evening commute is twice as fatal as the morning commute. Permanent daylight saving time could make it safer by giving everyone more daylight during the afternoon commute.

It could also lead to a decrease in crime.

“You're less likely to be out after work in the dark, for instance when opportunity crimes might be happening. Those ones that are like, on-the-spot muggings and things like that,” said Grant.

Year-round daylight savings has actually something a few states across the country have been pushing for. In fact Florida passed legislation last year that allows the state to be on daylight saving time year-round. But in order to go into effect, the bill needs federal approval, and that hasn't happened.

Congress originally mandated daylight savings during world war one as a way to save energy. But since then -- research has shown that it actually leads to an increase in energy consumption.

So, why do we still hold on to it?

“It's status quo, and we tend to stick with the status quo for a while,” said Grant.

Researchers say it's time to question that status quo, because there's got to be a better way than changing time twice a year.

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