Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Daylight Savings Deliberations - Personal and Professional

    Posted 03-18-2022 10:26 AM
    Given the new Senate Bill that could make Daylight Savings permanent in the USA, I was wondering what others thought about it both in terms of personal and also professional challenges. It seems like different countries, climates, time zones, and energy grids have competing interests to deal with on this topic. 

    Personally, I haven't thought about much about which way I would want to go in terms of DST in terms of always or never, but it would be nice to stop changing the clock. Its worth noting that this was tried once in the 70s already, and did not stick around. https://www.washingtonian.com/2022/03/15/the-us-tried-permanent-daylight-saving-time-in-the-70s-people-hated-it/?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

    Professionally, I happen to work with a lot of time series data that is impacted by the switch from EST to DST and back. Some of it is flow monitor data that tracks inflows into wastewater collection systems. These inflows are primarily human-caused (showers, toilets, cooking, etc). So for this purpose, the data follows the habits of people, who are following the schedules dictated by their clocks. What this means is that during March when people lose an hour, it still cannot be omitted from the timeseries, and during November, when people gain an additional hour, it has to be over-written in the data so as not to cause duplicate timesteps in the data. 
    As much as I would like to keep this data in UTC instead to remove this issue, there is concern that we would lose some context about exactly what time we observe morning peak flows if engineers cannot tie it back to daily constants such as waking up. If we did indeed keep the data in UTC, then for half of the year it would look like the daily dry weather flow patterns in the sewer were starting an hour earlier (or later, depending on your perspective) than the other half of the year. 
    This is only one source of data which I deal with. I am sure that there are other sources that cause others grief during the implementation and cessation of DST every year as well. 

    What do you think about Daylight Savings Time, both in terms of engineering and personal challenges?

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Daylight Savings Deliberations - Personal and Professional

    Posted 03-28-2022 10:12 AM
    I have mixed feelings about the subject. The 'longer' days in during the winter months would be a definite plus; however, the downside is the house feeling like a cave when one wakes up and a dark commute (or in my case having to pack my car to go cycling while it's still dark). I have not done a scientific study, but our wine consumption is a function (inversely proportional if I got this right) of sunset hour. If you had to pin me down, I think I would take my morning lumps and go with continuous daylight savings time. Re engineering implications, I think you make a good point. Staying one one time would be a simplifying measure.

    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX

  • 3.  RE: Daylight Savings Deliberations - Personal and Professional

    Posted 03-31-2022 11:01 AM
    Sleep scientists have come out almost uniformly against permanent daylight savings, and the reasoning is simple. Our circadian rhythm has been adapted to the solar cycle; it is changes that disrupt this rhythm that causes increased drowsiness, increased auto accidents, and increased heart attacks. While I prefer one time all year, setting our clocks forward will not mean that our bodies will adjust as readily. We will ALWAYS run an hour later than our clocks. In EVERY time zone, there'll be places that'll see sunrise at 9am in the winter.

    It was a shame that the Senate did not debate this issue. We need our representatives to listen to both sides before deciding on something so important. If they had listened to the scientists, they would have found a much less receptive audience.

    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    City of New York
    Long Island City, NY

  • 4.  RE: Daylight Savings Deliberations - Personal and Professional

    Posted 04-01-2022 05:03 PM
    I had once heard that daylight savings time was associated with kids ability to assist their families in the farming communities and attend school. I will have to do some research. I think the concerns still center around schools and children. 

    If you are a working parent with children that have to walk to school or wait at a bus stop for a lengthy period of time, the difference can be significant. You mix that with road considerations during the winter months, cities or counties that stagger school start times to accommodate transportation resources, general safety, and I would love to see the difference in traffic accident statistics relative to light vs. darkness. As a child that was bused to schools 20-30 minutes away from their neighborhood, there were some very dark and cold mornings.

    As I have aged like a fine wine (LOL), I recognize the difference in clarity during various periods of time when driving, not to mention these headlights that seem to get brighter coming from the other direction.

    As a society, we are challenged with various combinations of drivers, school buses, children, and teen drivers. The variables associated with darkness and visibility may increase the challenges. In some cities, there are children and teens that use mass transit systems to get to school. In some cities, where children travel through neighborhoods that are challenged with issues of safety.

    Weighing the possible outcomes and benefits for society as a whole in terms of risk management may provide answers.

    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA

  • 5.  RE: Daylight Savings Deliberations - Personal and Professional

    Posted 04-11-2022 09:53 AM
    It's my first time to heard and think with DST. And as I searched through the internet I understand how this affects. So here it is the pro and cons of DST, an article tackles how this is positively and negatively in our daily life. 

    Here's the link: https://www.procon.org/headlines/top-3-pros-and-cons-of-daylight-saving-time/

    What do you think about Daylight Savings Time, both in terms of engineering and personal challenges?

    In engineering I guess based on the article that it decreases productivity even the vice versa increases economy. The projects are bound to be done much longer, but projects are collected and can be a future net worth. Personal challenges are the time overwhelming/ over time to get things done according to agreement with the clients and suffering own well being/ life of the employee. Having workload more than the employee can benefit from like its wages. But life is life, and this must be take for consideration for a company to help their employee in such a way they wish the employee stay longer, they must give just right working balance.

    Llala Chrishaye Ocampo Aff.M.ASCE
    City of General Trias Cavite