Daylight saving time is an adjustment made to our clocks to allow for longer periods of daylight in the evenings during summer. We set our clocks ahead by an hour which gives us that all-important extra time to be able to chill out in the garden or the park for much longer, though we do miss out on an hour of sleep that day. Here are a few surprising bits of information about the benefits and drawbacks daylight saving time (DST) has on our lives.
People spend more money
In 2016 financial services firm JP Morgan Chase compared two city’s monetary exchanges after daylight saving time occurred. They monitored the spending habits of Los Angeles and Phoenix due to their comparable size and close location. Importantly, Phoenix doesn’t observe DST, but Los Angeles does. The results indicate a 0.9 percent increase in spending in Los Angeles per capita once DST has been enforced. By the end of the period of DST, there was a reduction in spending of 3.9 percent.
There are more heart attacks
DST is associated with increased levels of heart attacks, studies have shown. So if you’re living in an area that enforces DST and you have a suspect ticker, to reduce the risk maybe you should summer somewhere that doesn’t. One study highlighted a 24% increase in heart attacks on the Monday directly following the enforcement of DST. Perhaps a cause of this problem is the increased number of appointments missed on the Monday following the change in time. A study carried out in the UK found that there was an increase of 4.6% missed appointments following the DST clock change.
Make sure you wear your seatbelt
It turns out that DST brings more traffic accidents the day after the switch has been made. Maybe it is a result of people running late for their appointments, so more people are driving recklessly to make up the time. A study in New Zealand found that there was an increase of accidents by 16 percent on the initial day of DST. Despite this initial increase in accidents, DST generally reduces the number of accidents on the roads as there is more light on the roads in the evenings. A U.S. study found that if DST was implemented throughout the whole year there would be fewer vehicular fatalities.
Koalas can roam free for longer
The increased amount of daylight reduces the number of traffic incidents involving koalas. They are nocturnal, so they mostly move around at night. During DST many more people drive in daylight which means these cute little animals are safer to run around in the dark without the fear of getting struck by a motor vehicle. The study, carried out in Australia, found that there was a decrease in koala collisions by eleven percent at weekends and an eight percent reduction during the weekdays.
Those were just some of the strange occurrences that happen during daylight saving time. Many of the effects occur in the days immediately following the time change. Make sure you remember to change your clocks when DST comes around this year, it could save you from a heart attack.