December 28, 2022
Montana's winter season mixed with the end of daylight savings time means longer dark conditions and limited visibility. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the months of September to November, 31% of national pedestrian fatalities occurred from 6 to 8:59 p.m. The next largest group was 21%, during the hours of 9 to 11:59 p.m.
Pedestrians and bicyclists can reduce their risk of injury during low-light and dark hours by increasing their visibility to drivers. Pedestrians are encouraged to use a flashlight and wear reflective materials such as safety vests, reflective strips on jackets, backpacks, or shoes, or even a reflective bracelet to alert drivers to their presence. A good set of bicycle lights (e.g., headlight, rear flasher) will significantly boost the visibility of bicyclists. In any season, pedestrians and bicyclists should always stay alert and be predictable.
Drivers can do their part by slowing down, staying alert, and looking out for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly during low-light or dark hours. Drivers should also recognize that every intersection is a crosswalk (even if it's not marked) and be prepared to yield to pedestrians. Being extra watchful for bicyclists, walkers, and mobility device users this winter will help to keep Montanans safe on our roads.
MDT encourages everyone to stay safe throughout the year, and to keep enjoying the benefits of non-motorized travel! Additional pedestrian and bicycle safety resources can be found on our webpage, or by contacting MDT's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at