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Study: Northwest drivers feel pressured to go to work on snow days

Snow in Snohomish County. (MyNorthwest

The sight of snow for kids can often lead to hope that school will be cancelled. But for adults in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a different picture. Many feel extra pressure to dutifully show up to work.

A new PEMCO Insurance NW Poll found 62 percent of Pacific Northwest employees feel pressure to drive into work after a snowfall, even if they’d rather not or are able to work from home.

“We do feel some pressure to show up to work on a snow day instead of just kind of saying, ‘Hey, great, I got a perfect excuse. I’m gonna call in sick or I’m just going to say I can’t make it out of my driveway.'” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney. “Sixty-two percent of us at least do acknowledge that we feel pressure to show up to work, which might explain why so many of us did show up to work rather than make a convenient excuse.”

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The study was conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, and polled 578 respondents in Washington and 427 in Oregon on their driving habits and attitudes.

But it also showed that part of the reason Pacific Northwest drivers head into work on snow days is because they believe they can handle the drive perfectly fine. Forty-five percent of Northwestern drivers rated themselves as a “More skillful driver than most others” when driving in the snow and ice, and 28 percent are “very comfortable” when driving in those conditions.

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For co-host John Curley, the urge to go into work on a snow day is a very old trait.

“I think it stirs sort of that pioneer spirit in all of us. You head out, tighten the scarf, get those gloves on and and you tip the elbow and the shoulder towards the wind and out you go through the door,” he said.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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