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The end of Daylight Savings means the sun will begin to set at around 5:30 p.m. as we embrace for another Michigan winter. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) warns that nighttime rush hour traffic can lead to particularly dangerous driving conditions. Drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists must be extra cautious to ensure that accidents are minimized.

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in the weeks after returning to standard time, pedestrians are highly susceptible to injury from automobile accidents. The first hour, from roughly 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., is particularly dangerous. MDOT Director Kirk Steudle advises that “drivers should always pay close attention and look out for other users of our roadways.” Such precautions would hopefully avoid such disturbing statistics. MDOT said that in 2007, 2,013 pedestrians were injured and 134 were killed in automobile accidents.

A recent CNN Report suggests that “pedestrians walking around dusk are now nearly three times more likely to be struck and killed by cars than before the time change.” The Report additionally found that “ending daylight saving time translates into about 37 more U.S. pedestrian deaths around 6 p.m. in November compared to October.” These troubling statistics indicate the pressing need for both drivers and pedestrians to be cautious during this dangerous time.

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