Urging motorists to be aware

MICHIGAN¬†— The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to “spring forward” safely when daylight saving time starts this weekend at 2 a.m.¬†Sunday, March 11.

Motorists should be aware that sunrise will occur one hour later, meaning that it will be darker in the morning. Driving through school zones becomes more challenging for motorists during the first week of the time change. Pedestrians and bicyclists are recommended to wear reflective and bright clothing to be seen more easily during the morning hours.

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).

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 help influence driver behavior and improve safety on the roads. You can find more information on the campaign here.