02 Nov Poll: 74 Percent of Americans Want to End Daylight Saving Time, But Keep the Later Sunsets
It’s only three days away from our biannual ritual of changing the clocks. As the nation prepares itself for “Fall Back,” a national poll was taken to see if Daylight Saving Time (DST) still makes sense in modern times.
Daylight Saving Time occurs the first weekend of November, when it’s time for “Fall Back.” Early Sunday morning on November 5 at 2 a.m., the clocks will be turned back to 1 a.m. This means the sun is going to set one hour earlier—and everyone’s evenings will be a lot darker for the next five months.
So, we decided to see how the nation felt about that.
The poll of 1,147 adults—which had a margin of error of 4 percent—was conducted across the U.S. from Sunday Oct. 29 through Tuesday Oct. 31.
Respondents were asked both indirect and direct questions, including their political affiliation and traditional demographic information, so that we could see if demographics influenced how respondents felt about DST. The national poll included all age ranges, family structures, income levels, education levels and political views.
The main result of the poll is that an overwhelming majority of Americans, 74%, wants to end the Daylight Saving Time process. But, respondents don’t want to end DST in the way you might expect. Americans don’t want the process to stop the Daylight Saving Time process and revert back to the original Standard Time (aka Winter Time). They do want the clock changes to stop, but instead keep the “Summer Time” all year round.
There was very strong sentiment behind this as well. 76% percent of respondents who favored ending Daylight Saving Time were either “Very Strongly in Favor” or “Strongly In Favor” of ending Daylight Saving Time (DST) and stopping Fall Back so that the permanent time is the Summer Time that we’re moving away from today.
Only 19 percent of respondents were either “Strongly Against” or “Very Strongly Against” ending Daylight Saving Time.
State Opt-out Option doesn’t give people what they want
Many people would agree that states should be allowed to use the “Opt Out” clause of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the practice process of Daylight Saving Time as it’s known today. States can self-determine if they want to “Opt Out” of the Daylight Saving Time process of changing the clocks, or not. For example, the State of Massachusetts is currently considering opting out of this provision in the law.
But the problem with th option to “Opt Out” is that the law only allows for reverting to Standard Time, which would result in earlier sunsets year-round, and thus very dark evenings in the winter.
Our previous poll report showed that 84% of Americans prefer a later sunset.
Merely “opting out” and ending the time changes of Daylight Saving Time, won’t solve the problem fully. There are problems with the time changes which affects health, sleep, children in school, worker productivity and worker safety. But, there are many problems associated with earlier sunsets, too. These include increases in depression, winter blues, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), traffic accidents, pedestrian fatalities, and higher crime due to darker streets.
The optimal solution is not a state-by-state opt-out of the Federal law, but an amendment to the current law that abolishes time changes and keeps Summer Time year-round. That way it will stay lighter out later and removes the time changes.
Our Petition does just that.
Is a 74 percent approval a mandate for change? We think it is. But nothing will happen without everyone’s action. If you want the time changes to stop and the sun to stay out longer during winter, then Sign the Petition today! Or, follow our Facebook page and stay on top of all the news about Daylight Saving Time.