Residents face setbacks when it’s time to spring forward
Northwest residents would support new laws to change daylight saving time
Many Northwest residents are bracing for the effects of springing clocks forward for daylight saving time as they prepare to lose an hour of sleep this weekend. According to the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance, more than half say it'll take at least several days to adjust to the new time, and even more would like to see laws change to avoid the inconvenience.
The PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll found that 54 percent of Washington and Oregon residents say it takes at least two days to feel adjusted to daylight saving time, the annual ritual that requires residents to set their clocks an hour ahead, giving us extra daylight in the evenings.
But according to the poll, when clocks spring forward and we lose an hour of sleep, some residents need more time to adapt. One in five (21 percent) say it takes about three to five days for them to adjust to the time change, and 21 percent of Oregonians say it takes about a week or even more before they feel adjusted to the new time.
PEMCO first asked Northwest residents their attitude toward daylight saving time in 2015, and perceptions haven't changed in three years – two-thirds maintain that they'd prefer to keep clocks on the same time year-round, so much that they'd support legislation to require it.
"Daylight saving time can be a controversial subject for some, and many of us ask why we still commit to the tradition of springing forward and falling back," said PEMCO Spokesperson Derek Wing. "In fact, our latest poll revealed that three times as many people would support a ballot measure – if they had to vote on it tomorrow – that would keep clocks on the same time year-round, compared to those who would oppose it."
According to the poll, just one in five residents in Washington and Oregon (21 percent) would stand in the way of any new legislation that would keep clocks consistent throughout the year, but lawmakers in both Washington and Oregon have failed to pass proposed legislation that would keep clocks on standard time year-round.
Beyond the hassles updating the time in our cars or on the microwave, some studies show that changing our clocks by an hour can actually lead to an increase in collisions or even health complications.
A 2016 study in the American Economic Journal of Applied Economics found that the transition to daylight saving time may cause an increase in traffic accidents and road deaths. Other studies also point to an increase in heart attacks believed to be brought on by the added stress of losing sleep during the shift.
"PEMCO's biggest concern is for everyone's safety, both on the road and at home. And there's mounting evidence that suggests losing even an hour of sleep can have negative consequences," Wing said. "As we all get ready to spring forward this weekend, take steps to make sure you're prepared for all the tolls the time change might take on you and your family."
PEMCO suggests considering these tips as we approach the transition:
- Prepare early. For both you and your little ones, start adjusting your sleep schedule several days ahead of the time change. Even 15-minute increments can help set you up for a successful switch.
- Stay active. Getting exercise can improve the quality of your sleep. On Sunday, after the clocks change, get some fresh air (and sun, if we're lucky) to help your body get in sync with the new daylight schedule, and help you stay alert.
- Take a cat nap. A short nap, no more than 20 minutes, can help you feel refreshed and prepared for a good night sleep. Just don't sleep for so long that it keeps you up past your bedtime.
- Be alert. During those first morning and evening commutes, be vigilant of your own awareness behind the wheel, and stay alert for other drowsy drivers.
- Be bright. Since the morning darkness lingers a little longer in the first few weeks after the transition, bicyclists and pedestrians will want to be sure they have lights or reflective clothing on during their commute.
For a complete summary of PEMCO's poll results, visit www.pemco.com/poll, where you'll find the responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in January 2018.
About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.
About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance is a true Northwest company providing auto, home, and boat insurance to our neighbors since 1949. Consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction, people are the heart of our business. They can depend on us to anticipate and support their changing needs. PEMCO is committed to serving organizations that positively impact our local communities. We were started by a Seattle schoolteacher and stay true to our roots by focusing on nonprofits and organizations that support youth, education, and public safety. To learn more, visit www.pemco.com.