November 1, 2015
Pros Of Daylight Saving Time: Reduces Crime, Cuts Cost, Says Study

Daylight Saving Time ended on Sunday, November 1 at 2 a.m., which means you had to turn back your clocks. That also means you will have to embrace the earlier sunsets and even longer nights. That alone makes some people not want to "fall back," even if they got an extra hour of sleep.

There are many advantages to having daylight saving time. After all, you get more daylight and you save more money on lighting bills. Economists also found that daylight saving time actually improves the economy. According to a new study, it also reduces the crime rates in most cities.

The authors from the Brookings Institution and Cornell University wrote that "when DST begins in the spring, robbery rates for the entire day fall an average of 7 percent, with a much larger 27 percent drop during the evening hour that gained some extra sunlight."

According to the authors of the study, "Most street crime occurs in the evening around common commuting hours of 5 to 8 PM and more ambient light during typical high-crime hours makes it easier for victims and passer-by to see potential threats and later identify wrongdoers."

The study was published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, and was edited at Harvard, but published by MIT Press. As you can see, there are a lot of disadvantages when ending daylight saving time. Not only are there are more crime rates, but there are also more car accidents, workplace injuries, heart attacks, and health problems following the change.

During the winter and holiday season, some people experience Season Affective Disorder (S.A.D. for short). That's because when it gets darker earlier in the day, the production of melatonin (a sleep-related hormone) increases, which may cause depression. This mixed with the hectic holiday season and colder climate can cause that constant "blue" episode over the holiday season, and well into January and February. According to the National Mental Health Association, those are the most difficult months for SAD sufferers.

Not only does daylight saving time help reduce crime, but it also helps cut economic and social costs, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazette.

"Every crime carries a social cost -- direct economic losses suffered by the victim, including medical costs and lost earnings; government funds spent on police protection, legal services and incarceration; opportunity costs from criminals choosing not to participate in the legal economy; and indirect losses like pain and suffering. Previous estimates have put the total social cost of a single robbery at roughly $42,000, and the cost of a rape at $240,000. Tally it all up, and the three-week daylight saving time extension in the spring of 2007 saved the country $246 million, according to Doleac and Sanders."
Daylight saving time would also make people to spend more time outside, even in the dead cold of winter. That would result in a 10 percent increase in daily calories burned, according to another study. Year-round daylight savings time would be beneficial for people because it could greatly reduce heart attacks, car accidents, and workplace injuries.

Farmers wouldn't be happy to have year-round daylight savings time, but it looks like that's not the case. It was assumed that farmers use it to track their harvests is simply not true, according to another report via CNN. Prerau slammed the rumor in his 2009 book Seize the Daylight, where he explains that farmers have fought for year-round daylight savings time. They find that when they turn their clocks back, their productivity and overall lifestyle is tougher than any other time of the year.

Parents often argued that having their children wait for school buses during the dawn as an argument against having year-long daylight savings time.

What are your thoughts on daylight savings time? Do you think we should have it all year long? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]