A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Another time change — aaaargh!

Written November 3rd, 2016 by Hasso Hering
Enjoy the autumn sunshine before the time change robs you of an hour of afternoon daylight.

Enjoy the autumn sunshine before the time change robs you of an hour of afternoon daylight.

Even ODOT is worried about the harmful effects of the time change barreling down on us on Sunday. Which once again raises the question: Why do we keep up this senseless and potentially injurious ritual of changing what it says on the clock?

On Sunday we supposedly regain the hour we lost last March. But we regain it only if we’re awake. And the Department of Transportation worries that we may not be, at least not all the way.

In a press release the department frets that after the time change, and because of it, people may be drowsy when they get behind the wheel. “It’s the fact that time is changing that affects the body,” the department says, quoting the National Sleep Foundation. “Shift workers, for example, are advised to start adjusting sleep patterns up to three days ahead of their shift change, and a similar adjustment can help avoid sleepy driving when our clocks fall back one hour on Nov. 6.”

Whether anybody adjusts his sleep patterns starting tonight seems doubtful, at least to me. So we’re going to face a period of time, starting Sunday and for a few days thereafter, when many people are out of sorts because of the change. This can be deadly when driving is involved. ODOT says drowsy driving in Oregon kills an average of 11 people a year.

There’s no proof that the twice-a-year time changes from standard to daylight time and back again have anything to do with traffic crashes. But why take the chance?

Especially since the benefits have disappeared long ago, if they ever existed at all. (hh)

8 responses to “Another time change — aaaargh!”

  1. HowlingCicada says:

    In the UK it’s called British Summer Time (BS Time;) which doesn’t change on the same dates as ours.

    It used to be a big mess listening to BBC radio on OPB during the overlap period when news programs ran on BS time and international programs ran on UTC (no BS) – no facts, just guessing from observation, seems like they fixed it this season. Also, watch out if you have any online activities involving deadlines set by local time elsewhere in the world.

  2. Phineas Jones says:

    Hear hear, Hasso. Daylight Savings Time perhaps could have been justified when a far larger percentage of our citizenry worked in the agricultural sphere. Currently, farm work occupies somewhere around 1% of the American workforce. Seems a bit out of whack.

  3. ean says:

    Probably more drowsy drivers due to the World Series than there will be for the change in time. Plus I would think the extra hour would lead to less drowsiness, it would seem more likely that the other time shift in the spring would cause issues. Myself, I (like) the time shift. It is nice having the extra hour of light after work in the summer.

  4. Bob Woods says:

    Thank you for this annual exercise. It’s nice to see an issue where liberals and conservatives can agree.

  5. hj.anony1 says:

    How about an Obama Executive Order to end this particular madness? All for it! Still republican heads would explode. And we know why. wink wink.

  6. Rhea Graham says:

    Cannabis … safer than the time change!!

  7. George Pugh says:

    Contrary to what P. Jones wrote, I could not find where agriculture supported the instigation of daylight saving time. On our farm my grandfather was adamantly opposed to what he called “the devil’s time.” At a time before lights were common on farm equipment we rose, and often went to bed,with the chickens. If my memory serves me right, Grandpa would not change the milking time because he said it threw the cows off their rhythm. Consequently, we were usually late to church during DLST.
    Now we are starting before sunup and finishing after dark until the fall work is done no matter what the clock says.

  8. H. R. Richner says:

    One should see what this government stupidity does to the train schedules in Europe. All over Germany night riders have to wait one hour before they can proceed. In Switzerland they actually run duplicate trains to avoid the waiting nuisance. Our train schedules are more “flexible.”


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