The year 2016 witnessed the highest number of pedestrian deaths in Minnesota in a quarter century. Sixty-one people lost their lives to irresponsible drivers last year. This is an increase over 2015, which saw 41 pedestrians killed, and a steep increase over 2014, which saw the lowest number of pedestrian deaths in decades: 17.
The Department of Public Safety is not quite clear on why there was such a high increase in pedestrian deaths last year. There was reference to rising distracted driving accidents, but pinpointing the exact cause may never happen. Regardless, there are steps that we as drivers and pedestrians alike can take to help curb the rise and protect our state’s residents.
Safety Tips for Minnesota Drivers
Minnesota law mandates that drivers must stop for pedestrians who attempt to properly use a crosswalk. Let’s break this down into tips you can use when driving on Minnesota roads.
- A crosswalk is any legal intersection—painted or not.
- A driver must wait until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle stands before driving forward.
- Another driver shall not pass a car that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
The same Minnesota law that governs driver behavior also speaks to pedestrian actions. As a pedestrian, be sure to follow these rules to stay safe.
- Do not move into or run across an intersection where it would be unsafe or impossible for a driver to stop.
- Walk along the right-half of a crosswalk whenever possible.
- Use provided sidewalks whenever possible.
- Walk on the left-hand side of the road in the absence of a sidewalk.
- Do not cross between adjacent intersections that each has traffic-control signals in place.
- Yield the right-of-way to drivers when crossing between intersections that do not have traffic-control signals.
Seek Immediate Legal Counsel in the Event of a Pedestrian Accident
If a car hits you or someone you love while attempting to safely cross Minnesota roads, we highly encourage you to call an experienced injury lawyer immediately. It is critical to begin gather as much information as possible after your accident, including physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. The longer you wait to seek help, the lower chances you have at obtaining compensation for your injuries or for the loss of a loved one.