MDOT says “spring forward” means be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists

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 13. Motorists should be aware that sunrise will occur one hour later, meaning that it will be darker later in the morning.Bicycle Accident

“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.”

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.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,884 pedestrians and 726 cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 and 65,000 pedestrians and another 50,000 cyclists were injured. In 2013, 7,000 of the pedestrian injuries were children 14 and younger. The majority of pedestrian fatalities (71 percent) occur during dark conditions between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. For more information, go to www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812124.pdf.