Millions of people across the UK say they feel depressed, unsafe and reluctant to leave their home as a result of darker evenings, according to the latest research from Santander Home Insurance.
The ‘DULL’ effect – ‘Depressed, Unsafe and Lying Low’ – contributes to Brits opposing daylight saving time with more than six in 10 (62 per cent up from 58 per cent in 2011) against turning the clocks back: a third (33 per cent) of those surveyed feel the clocks should not go back at all, and 29 per cent believe the UK should adopt Central European Time, which gives two additional hours of daylight in the evenings.
According to the research, darker evenings leave almost half (47 per cent) of Brits feeling more depressed in winter months and 27 per cent more at risk of injury caused by muggings and accidents.
Over four in 10 (44 per cent) of those polled say they leave the house less as the evenings draw in and 14 per cent say they would participate in more winter sports if they weren’t robbed of that additional daylight hour.
As fuel prices continue to spiral, the research also raises concerns for the 21 per cent of respondents that say they already struggle to pay their winter heating and lighting bills.
Richard Al-Dabbagh of Santander Insurance, said: “Darker evenings will always leave people feeling more vulnerable but when the clocks go back this change is exaggerated by what appears to be quite a stark loss of daylight.
“It’s clear that Britons are really suffering from the ‘DULL’ effect with many of their concerns, particularly with regards to safety not unfounded.
“Darker evenings can lead to a higher incidence of crime and accidents however they are no reason to stay indoors or limit our activities; they just mean we need to be more vigilant and more stringent when it comes to personal safety both in and out of the home.
“Unfortunately there are no guarantees, so it’s important that people have reliable, comprehensive insurance policies to offer protection against risks like burglary and motoring accidents.”