Is Time on Our Side?

Since we recently went through the change to Daylight Savings Time, you undoubtedly know the trauma it causes.  Not only are we forced to give up a precious hour of sleep in the middle of a well-earned weekend, but we are also forced to engage in that most difficult of processes -- changing the time on the clocks in our cars.  While, to their credit, some manufacturers have made this a rather simple chore, others still require us to jump through the mental equivalent of flaming hoops just to get our clocks to "spring forward" an hour.

Proving that these days there is a study on almost anything, Lincoln has commissioned a study about car clocks and other consumer interfaces with technology.  The new study shows that while consumers may be tech savvy at home, many still need to refer to the owner's manual to figure out how to set the clock in their vehicle.

"Intuitive technology can make the difference between frustration behind the wheel, and a truly enjoyable driving experience," said Lincoln Brand Manager Tom Grill. "The technologies featured in the new Lincoln Zephyr are designed with luxury and simplicity in mind -- like the advanced DVD-based navigation system, keyless entry keypad and classic analog clock."
 
In the recent survey of luxury vehicle owners conducted by Harris Interactive for Lincoln, more than half (57 percent) of those polled indicated they like to know "just enough" about specific technologies to make them work while 35 percent said they considered themselves to be technophiles. Only eight percent said they don't care how things work, as long as they work.

Complication obviously still reigns in many car cockpits.  Some 62 percent of respondents say they rely on the owner's manual to figure out how to reset the clock when it is part of their vehicle's audio system. When the vehicle's clock is separate from the radio, 48 percent admit to reaching for the manual. Demonstrating that some stereotypes have at least some basis in fact, far more women (69 percent) than men (57 percent) say they reach for the owner's manual to figure out the intricacies of clock-setting, overall.  Responding to this, Lincoln has gone to an analog clock on its Lincoln Zephyr that can be set by simply pressing the plus or minus key located just under the clock.

Luxury car owners seem to be take-charge types when it comes to time. Most luxury vehicle owners polled said they're the ones in the household to change the alarm clocks (93 percent), wall clocks (92 percent), and clocks on home appliances (94 percent). Males (93 percent) are more likely than females (79 percent) to change the clock on home electronics themselves. And not surprisingly, those who are 50 or older are more likely to change their home clocks before going to bed.
 
The country seems to be nearly equally split between the pro-active and the reactive when it comes to the time change.  Some 55 percent say they reset their alarm clocks/clock radios the night before Daylight Saving Time, while 43 percent say they do it the day of the time change. And then there are those few who march to a completely different beat.  Slightly less than two percent say they don't bother changing the time at all on their wall clocks, alarm clocks and home appliances at all.

Interestingly, most of that two percent also drink Corona.

Driving Today Contributing Editor Luigi Fraschini admits to trying to set his car clocks without the benefit of the manual, costing him several hours each year.