Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Oct. 19, 2021

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Pedestrian crashes, fatalities increase during fall months

ST. PAUL, Minn. — More hours of darkness this time of year can contribute to an increased number of crashes between people driving and walking, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging travelers to use caution. October is National Pedestrian Safety Month.

Motor vehicle crashes have killed 45 pedestrians in 2021, which is nine more pedestrian deaths than this time last year. According to crash facts from the Department of Public Safety, 45 people died and 654 others were injured in crashes with vehicles while walking in 2020.

“One life lost on our roadways is too many. Fall and winter months are especially dangerous for people walking because we have fewer hours of daylight,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. “We can keep ourselves and each other safe when driving by slowing down and stopping for people crossing the road. When you are walking, stay alert and look in all directions before crossing the street because drivers may not see you, day or night.”

Read the full crosswalk law and follow these additional safety tips.

When driving:

  • Watch for people walking, anywhere at any time
  • Stop for people crossing the road
  • Look in all directions before turning
  • Slow down for people; slower speeds save lives
  • Before passing stopped vehicles, check for people crossing the road

When walking:

  • Be alert for turning vehicles
  • Look for vehicles in all lanes of traffic before crossing
  • People driving may not see you, day or night
  • Cross in a well-lit area when possible
  • Stand clear of parked cars and obstacles before crossing