MDOT says "spring forward" means be alert for all roadway users

Contact: Joshua DeBruyn, MDOT Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator, 517-335-2918; Michael Frezell, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-335-7176
Agency: Transportation

March 9, 2018 -- 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 11. 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."

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), 5,987 pedestrians and 840 cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. Injury data for 2016 was not finalized, but in 2015 nearly 70,000 pedestrians and 45,000 cyclists were injured. The majority of pedestrian fatalities (74 percent in 2015) occur during dark conditions between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. (Source: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812375)

MDOT is working with partners statewide on the Toward Zero Deaths safety campaign based on the National Strategy on Highway Safety, which is intended to influence driver behavior and improve safety. For more information on the Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit www.michigan.gov/zerodeaths.

Toward Zero Deaths Logo