Skip to main content

MDOT and Michigan Fitness Foundation remind drivers to be alert as clocks "spring forward" on Sunday

LANSING, Mich. - As clocks "spring forward" to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF) remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists always, but especially in low light conditions. Sunrise will occur one hour later, meaning that it will be darker later in the morning. Drivers also should allow a minimum 3-foot distance when passing a bicyclist, according to state law. 

"Safety on our roads is a shared responsibility regardless of how you are getting around," said State Transportation Director Bradley C. Wieferich. "Whether moving about by walking, rolling or driving a motor vehicle, it is essential everyone remain alert and avoid distractions to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely. Drivers are reminded that Michigan's distracted driving law took effect last June, making it illegal to manually use a cell phone or other mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle. Under the law, a driver cannot hold or support a phone or other device with any part of their hands, arms, or shoulders. Road users need to be alert and eliminate distractions. Also, people travelling on foot or rolling are encouraged to wear brighter colored clothing with reflective material to enhance visibility."

Drivers are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in Michigan, unless otherwise posted. As legal roadway users, bicyclists are required to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.

Working with schools and communities across the state, MFF Safe Routes to School program staff provide best practices that help communities identify and overcome safety barriers that make it safe for children to commute safely to and from school.

"Through our Safe Routes to School partnership with MDOT, we work with communities to create safe environments for children who walk, bike, and roll to school," said MFF President and CEO Amy Ghannam. “As we all adjust to the upcoming time change, it is important to remind ourselves to stay alert on the roadways to keep children safe."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 7,388 pedestrians and 966 pedalcyclists (bicyclists and riders of two-wheel, nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals) died in traffic crashes in 2021. In Michigan, 2,026 pedestrians were involved in crashes, resulting in 173 killed and 1,566 injured according to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts (MTCF) for 2022. Bicycle crashes accounted for 36 killed and 1,030 injured in the same MTCF 2022 report. Most pedestrian fatalities (76 percent) and pedalcyclist fatalities (50 percent) occur during dark conditions between 5 and 9 p.m.

MDOT continues to work 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