Shorter days, an increase in the hours of darkness, changing weather conditions, and the natural cycle of wildlife combine to contribute to an increased number of automobile crashes during the fall season; at the same time, there seems to be an increase in the number of automobile-pedestrian crash encounters.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging both drivers and pedestrians to exercise more caution as autumn progresses.  Since the beginning of 2019, motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions have killed 33 pedestrians so far.  Looking backwards, 45 pedestrians died and an additional 987 people were injured in 2018, along with 42 deaths and 1,053 injuries in 2017.

Minnesota drivers need to be aware of the "Crosswalk Law" that highlights the following:

  • People driving must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear should never pass the stopped vehicle.
  • Drivers should scan the road and sides of the road ahead for pedestrians.
  • Drivers stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of their stopped vehicle.
  • People driving and walking should avoid distractions and dangerous behavior.
  • People walking should obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them.
  • Pedestrians shouldn’t enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop.

For additional details about the Crosswalk Law and to learn about more safety tips for pedestrians and motorists, click here.