2016 deadly year for drivers, pedestrians on Minnesota roads

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2016 was a deadly year for both drivers and pedestrians on Minnesota’s roads.

The Minnesota State Patrol says 397 people lost their lives in traffic accidents last year, according to a preliminary report. That number is down from the 411 traffic deaths in 2015, but it is expected to increase as final crash data is evaluated.

The 397 deaths included 362 drivers, 53 motorcyclists, seven bicyclists and 60 pedestrians.

The number of pedestrian deaths was up from 41 in 2015. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the state since 1991 and a 50 percent increase in fatalities in the past five years, the State Patrol says.

To ensure the safety of pedestrians, the State Patrol says drivers must treat every corner as a crosswalk and stop for pedestrians crossing at all corners and crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.

Authorities also advise pedestrians to only cross at a corner, marked crosswalk or where a traffic light is present and to never cross in the middle of the road or walk down an interstate.