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November 01, 2013

Daylight Saving Time Ends: Don’t forget to turn back the clock in your car

Daylight_savings_time-thinkstock_97770321_sAs the saying goes: "Spring forward, Fall back." And so this weekend, we’ll all be setting our clocks back before bed on Saturday night to get an extra hour of sleep. And while you’re running around resetting your clocks, don’t forget to also reset the clock in your car!

Many don’t know why we do it. Some states (like Arizona and Hawaii) don’t do it at all. But twice a year, most of the United States resets their clocks -- an hour forward in Spring, an hour back in the Fall -- in a practice known as Daylight Saving Time.

This weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time, putting most of the United States back into “Standard Time.”

During these next few weeks, it’s extremely important that drivers be super careful when navigating residential neighborhoods while adapting to the decreased amount of daylight. During this time of year as the days become much shorter and more kids are out and about in these twilight hours before and after school, it’s critical for drivers to be extra cautious about low-light headlight use so that they can see better and are able to recognize other vehicles, debris, animals, and especially pedestrians among the evening shadows.

 

Daylight_savings_time-thinkstock_146904734_sAbout Daylight Saving Time

Some blame Benjamin Franklin for the original idea, saying Mister “Early to Rise” was the first to suggest voluntary time shifts to account for the varying amounts of sunlight as the seasons changed throughout the year. According to Wikipedia, G.V. Hudson invented modern Daylight Saving Time in 1895, when he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift so that evenings would have more daylight and mornings have less.

Daylight Saving Time legislation first became law in the United States in 1918 as part of the Federal Act, which also established our national Standard Time Zones. Various regions of the United States optionally implemented Daylight Saving Time but it was confusing -- because the beginning and ending dates varied each year, and not all communities were consistent -- and costly for some industries, particularly transportation industries such as the railroads, bus companies, and airlines, and also for radio and television broadcasters.

President Lyndon B. Johnson enacted the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to set standard beginning and ending dates for Daylight Saving Time across the United States.

Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (which was actually enacted in 2007), Americans now set the clocks one hour ahead at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March to “spring forward” into Daylight Savings Time and “Fall Back” at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November to return to Standard Time.

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