We are finishing one of the roughest weeks of the year. Indeed, the Monday morning of this week has statistically become the most dangerous Monday of the year. As we make our way to Friday, many are relieved to have survived this awful week.
I am speaking, naturally, of the transition to Daylight Savings Time.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation have to deal with an inordinate amount of vehicle crashes due to sleepy-eyed drivers on the Monday after the time change. This is easy to understand; drivers are nodding off at the wheel because they have lost a whole hour of REM, or they may actually be driving during a time in which they should be in REM.
Personally, I had a plan for dealing with the changeover to Daylight Savings Time. I was going to spend the next couple of weeks waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Then the last week of March, I was going to get up 45 minutes earlier. This would allow me to make a gradual transition to EDT without all the drama, cursing, and aggravation.
Unfortunately, the powers that be surprised me. While I was expecting DST to come at the end of March, late Saturday night my wife and our houseguests informed me DST was in the process of happening at 0200 in the morning. At 2 am, it would suddenly become 3 am!
I know the drill–I’ve gone through it too many times in my life. In the past, I have complained loudly about the pain of changing the clock one hour. Too many times, I have witnessed those hapless drivers who have fallen asleep while trying to drive to work an hour earlier in the morning. This past Monday was no different.
As I was passing a slower moving vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95, highway patrol officer barreled up on my rear end. I was doing 70 mph; he must have had about a 30 mile per hour advantage on me.
I pulled over as quickly as I could and again, he accelerated out to about 100 mph. Like a fighter pilot bugging out of a dogfight, he disappeared beyond the horizon before I had time to think about it. About 12 minutes later, sure enough, I came across the accident scene.
On the side of the road, a small SUV sat upright with the roof caved in and the windshield shattered, with evidence of a rollover accident. Down the road, I saw a pickup truck with its bumper hanging half off.
The journalist who still resides in the crevices of my brain wanted to know the story of what happened. I hoped everyone involved was okay.
As I motored down the highway, I was aware I was also suffering from getting up too early. I was really tired and did not like driving in such a condition.
As I neared my destination, I wondered why we have to go through this silliness each spring. It reminded me of the story told by an old Native American. “Only the white man’s government will cut six inches off one side of a blanket, sew it to the other end of the blanket, and try to make you believe it is longer.”
Uhhmmm . . . I like that. It makes sense. I have no idea why we must change our clocks ahead one hour in the spring.
I will admit, however, I do enjoy gaining that hour back in the fall.
©2012 J. Clark
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