The springtime change to DST shocks the human circadian system with a sudden loss of 40 minutes of sleep on average.[Barnes & Wagner] This disruption negatively affects reaction times,[Medina] which causes traffic deaths in the US to spike 17% the Monday after changing to DST.[Boynton] The increase in road deaths persists at a rate of 5.6%[Smith] to 6%[Fritz] the remaining week after changing. A minimum average of 28 lives per year are lost due to “springing forward”.[Fritz] Other studies estimate as many as 195 motorists’ and 171 pedestrians’ lives each year are lost.[Merline]
Proponents of DST claim that DST’s artificial shift of daylight from morning to evening reduces traffic deaths. The data proves otherwise. Lack of visibility is a contributing factor in DST-related traffic deaths, but sleep deprivation is the stronger cause,[Fritz][Karlik] and permanent DST makes sleep deprivation chronically worse.[CBC][SRBR]
Permanent DST would force most citizens to start school or work before sunrise for a third of the year (whereas most do not now).[Block & Meijer][CBC][Herf & Longcore][Juda][Labbe][Lindsay 2019–12–05][Meijer & Foster] Mornings are the worst time for dark commutes, when grogginess from lack of sleep (19 minutes average lost every night under DST)[Cermakian][Curtis][Giuntella & Mazzonna][Roenneberg 2019–08] is strongest for walking or busing children, inexperienced teen drivers, and driving adults alike.[Clark][Herf] Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of accidental death in the US.[Smith] 70% of all US pedestrian deaths occur under darkness, and 20% of all US pedestrians killed are children.[Mercury] In 1974, eight children’s lives were taken on dark winter mornings in just one month of permanent DST in Florida.[Downing 2018][Jenkins][Merline]
The National Education Association,[Jenkins] the National School Boards Association,[Jenkins] the National PTA,[Achenbach] and the American Federation of Teachers[Jenkins] have all opposed permanent DST, citing children’s safety. The Association of Canadian Ergonomists has opposed permanent DST and endorsed permanent Standard Time, citing concerns for public health and safety.[ACE] See Save Standard Time’s list of policy endorsements for additional organizations and individuals of note who reject permanent DST and support permanent Standard Time.