LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to “spring forward” safely when daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8. Motorists should be aware that sunrise will occur one hour later, meaning that it will be darker later in the morning.
“Driving through school zones becomes more challenging for motorists during the first week of the time change,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Pedestrians and bicyclists should wear brighter, reflective clothing in order to be seen more easily, and those behind the wheel need to pay close attention and eliminate distractions while driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,735 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2013 and 66,000 were injured (7,000 of these injuries happened to children 14 and younger). NHTSA reports more crashes occurred in dark conditions (72 percent) than in daylight conditions (25 percent).
Motorists are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in Michigan. Bicyclists are reminded that, as legal roadway users, they are required to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.