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Pedestrian Risks Rise in Autumn


October 2016

As the weather becomes less welcoming, the streets of Minnesota can become more dangerous. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says that fall is the most dangerous time to be a pedestrian. Here's why you and your family may benefit from taking extra safety precautions.

Proven Hazards

As of early October, some 37 pedestrians had been killed by drivers. Statistics show that around 33 percent of all pedestrian crashes occurred during weekday rush hours in the morning and evening. About 25 percent of pedestrian deaths took place during the late night or early morning hours. 

So why do accidents start happening more frequently in fall? News sources say that the season itself plays a role. Since the sun rises later and sets earlier than it does in summer, pedestrians are more likely to be out and about during low-visibility hours. 

When you consider that more people are walking around in the dark, it makes sense that in many pedestrian collisions, drivers simply fail to yield. It also highlights the fact that motorists aren't the only ones in the wrong. Historical wreck data reveals that drivers and pedestrians share fault equally.

Improving the Situation

As a pedestrian, you need to take charge of your safety, and the state of Minnesota created a crosswalk law to ensure that you do. The rules mandate that drivers must stop for foot traffic and remain stopped until it passes safely, but they also say that walkers are responsible for adhering to road rules. This means respecting traffic signals and staying out of the street when cars are approaching without slowing down. 

Failing to follow the crosswalk law is a misdemeanor, but that may not stop bad drivers. In addition to sticking to the basic guidelines set by the Office of Traffic Safety and maintaining an awareness of your surroundings, it's wise to keep your legal options open. 

If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury in an accident, consulting an attorney could make the recovery process far easier. To learn more about your options, contact the law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben today at 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265.