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Walkers Take Caution as Pedestrian Deaths Rise in Minnesota


September 2012

More and more pedestrians are being killed on the streets of Minnesota. The number of deaths increased significantly during the first eight months of 2012. As of early September, the Star Tribune reports that 23 pedestrians have lost their lives in accidents. Hundreds of injuries have also occurred.

Two of the most recent incidents proved fatal. A pair of elderly pedestrians from San Antonio were killed on a highway in Anoka during early September, according to KRGV-TV. CBS News reported in late August that a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle in Maple Grove. Both accidents happened at night.

A variety of problems have contributed to the rising number of pedestrian fatalities. Some walkers and drivers use distracting mobile devices, such as cellphones and MP3 players. Many streets were not designed to accommodate pedestrians, and some cities seldom repaint their crosswalks. Alcohol also contributes to numerous accidents.

An underlying problem is that most cities and towns have car-centric layouts. Some local governments treat pedestrian accessibility as an afterthought. Rather than find ways to reduce traffic, they build six-lane highways and save money by leaving out the sidewalks. This compromises safety and discourages exercise.

To prevent additional deaths and injuries, Minnesota authorities have bolstered their efforts to enforce crosswalk laws and educate the public. Stronger penalties for distracted driving could also decrease pedestrian fatalities to some extent. Drivers who accidentally injure or kill walkers seldom face criminal charges.

Please contact us if a traffic accident has harmed you or a loved one. Our attorneys have successfully obtained large settlements for injured pedestrians. When they need an experienced personal injury attorney, Minneapolis residents turn to the law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. Call (612) 377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll free) for a free consultation today.