Nov 4, 2022 - News

Fall back: the latest on daylight saving time in Arkansas

Illustration of a rooster, with a word balloon coming out of its mouth with swearing-substitute symbols in it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Yup, this is that weekend — the one many despise because it gets dark earlier.

  • And the one some people love because they get an extra hour of sleep.

Driving the news: Daylight saving time ends at 2am on Sunday, Nov. 6, when our phone clocks automatically fall back an hour and the coffee pot timer is suddenly wrong.

The big picture: One 2020 study led by Colorado sleep researchers says there are more traffic accidents following the switch to daylight saving time. Another estimates pedestrian and car fatalities would be reduced — by nearly 400 people a year — if we kept daylight saving time permanently.

  • Meanwhile, a biology professor at the University of Washington says standard time aligns more closely with the body’s circadian rhythms.

Flashback: A federal bill, the Sunshine Protection Act, to make daylight saving time permanent cleared the U.S. Senate in March, but stalled in the U.S. House.

  • Federal law says states can move to standard time, but must have the approval of Congress to adopt year-round daylight saving time.

Zoom in: Arkansas lawmakers seem as confused on the subject as a sleepy toddler told to get out of bed Monday morning. They've introduced competing bills over the years:

Zoom out: One of Axios' reporters in Phoenix, Jeremy Duda, provided us with this perspective: "Arizonans are fiercely proud of our refusal to take part in daylight saving time."

The bottom line: Nothing has changed. We'll keep doing this twice a year until lawmakers decide otherwise.

Worth's thought bubble: We're so polarized, we can't even agree on what time it is.

  • Still, I'm pulling for more daylight hours.

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