MDOT Warns Drivers to Watch for Pedestrians In the Dark

The Michigan Department of Transportation urges drivers to exercise extra caution especially in the first weeks after the time change. When clocks “fall back” an hour, like they do every fall, accidents tend to increase. Darkness comes early and walkers, runners, and cyclists tend to still be out.

A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study shows that pedestrians are especially at risk of injury in that first hour of darkness after the time change. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities happened in the first three hours of darkness, starting around 6:00 p.m.

State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba warns, “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. 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.”

Reporting for WGRT- Jennie McClelland