MDOT reminds motorists to be alert as clocks “fall back” on Sunday
By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Published Oct. 30, 2020
Sunday marks the return to standard time, or known popularly as “falling back” an hour on the clock.
While many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep, MDOT is reminding drivers that it can be a dangerous time on the roadways.
Research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says that pedestrians are more at risk of serious injury from a motor vehicle crash in the weeks following a return to standard time.
The most dangerous time is the first hour of darkness.
“Drivers need to realize that after the time change it may be more challenging to see people walking, running, or bicycling as they will be much less noticeable,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “To ensure visibility, pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists are encouraged to wear brighter-colored clothing with reflective material. Drivers need to eliminate distractions, slow down, and focus fully on the task of driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic crashes in 2018 resulted in the deaths of 6,283 pedestrians and 857 pedalcyclists (bicyclists and riders of two-wheel, nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals). Unfortunately, these incidents increased by 3.4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, from the previous year.
Most pedestrian fatalities (76 percent) and pedalcyclist fatalities (50 percent) occurred during dark conditions between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.