Spring Forward! 2017 Daylight Saving Time Starts This Sunday in U.S.

By Jesse Sokolow on 9 March 2017
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Even with a February that was the warmest on record, people are still ready for spring to arrive and for the days to become longer. Daylight Saving Time will start this Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. local time in most parts of the United States and Canada. Clocks should be set ahead by one hour.

In the European Union, Summer Time (called British Summer Time, or BST, in the United Kingdom and Sommerzeit in Austria and Germany) will start two weeks later on March 26, the last Sunday of the month. The starting date offset leaves the United States out of sync with a significant part of the world for the next two weeks. Up until just a few years ago, when the United States modified the start and end times of Daylight Saving Time, this period lasted only one week.

Daylight Saving Time in the United States will end on November 5, 2017 and resume on March 11, 2018. In the European Union, Summer Time will end October 29, 2017 and resume March 25, 2018.

Daylight Saving Time is a system of managing the changing amounts of daylight that occur during the year, with a goal of maximizing daylight hours during the typical workday. It was first proposed in a somewhat jocular manner by Benjamin Franklin in a 1784 essay entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” wherein he calculated how much the citizens of Paris would save on candles by starting the day earlier. It was not broadly adopted until the early twentieth century when Germany became the first country to introduce it, on April 30, 1916, a move quickly followed by several other European nations including France and the United Kingdom.

The United States first established Daylight Saving Time in 1918 as an energy-saving measure.

By setting clocks ahead by an hour, people typically have more daylight available during the workday. Since in the spring the sun rises earlier each day, an individual who typically wakes at 7 a.m. would have to rise at 6 a.m. to take advantage of the additional daylight. Instead, by moving the clock ahead by one hour, that person can continue to arise at 7 a.m. and enjoy more daylight in the early evening hours.

In order to avoid problems with Daylight Saving Time, travelers should remember to update any operating systems or tech gear that do not automatically adjust to Daylight Saving Time. Devices that update automatically include laptop and desktop computers using Apple or Windows operating systems as well as most smartphones.

Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation). Until 2006, the counties in the Eastern Time Zone of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time and remained on standard time year round. As of April 2006, all of Indiana observes Daylight Saving Time. Most of Asia, Africa, and South America do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all.

Finally, don’t forget about your analog wristwatches and clocks – they will not adjust themselves!

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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