Pedestrians in the Danger Zone: Pedestrians v. Drivers

Pedestrians in the Danger Zone: Pedestrians v. Drivers

While some traffic-death causes?such as drunken driving and not wearing seat belts?continue to decrease, pedestrian deaths in Minnesota have risen since 2008.? In 2011, 40 pedestrians in Minnesota were killed.? Pedestrian deaths account for 10% of all traffic deaths in Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a study showing traffic safety facts relating to pedestrians from 2010.

In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians nation-wide were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured.? This is a 4% national increase from 2009.? These numbers account for 13% of all traffic fatalities and 3% of all people injured in traffic crashes.

The study also released the following national findings:

  • 73% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in an urban setting.
  • 79% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections.
  • 88% of pedestrian fatalities occurred during normal weather conditions.
  • 68% of pedestrian fatalities occurred during the nighttime.
  • 69% of pedestrian fatalities were males.
  • 61% of pedestrian fatalities were children under the age of 15.
  • 48% of pedestrian fatalities occurred on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • 47% of pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol?either by the driver or the
  • pedestrian.

In Minnesota, by law, motorists are required to stop and yield to pedestrians who are in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection lacking a marked crosswalk.? Failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor.

Important Safety Reminders:

  • Drivers should always yield to pedestrians and watch their surroundings for pedestrians and bicyclists.? Be especially careful at intersections, especially when turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in the path.
  • Pedestrians should always cross the street in a designated crosswalk or at an intersection with traffic control devices.
  • Pedestrians should walk on a sidewalk when available, but if a pedestrian must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
  • Pedestrians should wear retro-reflective clothing at night or carry a flashlight.

See Smith, K., ?To step up pedestrian safety, police get cross about crosswalks.?? Star Tribune (2012, August 17).? Retrieved from www.startribune.com.? ?Traffic Safety Facts 2010 Data: Pedestrians.?? Released from the NHTSA?s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (2012 August).

At Kauffman Law Firm, we have been working for injured persons and their families?including pedestrians?for over 30 years.? We bring passion, preparation, and personal service to provide legal services above and beyond expectations.

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