Fall considered deadliest time for pedestrians

As the days get shorter this time of year, motorists and pedestrians are advised to watch out for each other. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the fall months are the deadliest months for pedestrians.

So far this year, 37 pedestrians were killed, compared with 41 pedestrians last year and 17 in 2014.

The department reminds drivers to stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights. Cars stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the line in front of the car.

Additionally, pedestrians should obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them. Pedestrians shouldn’t enter a crosswalk if a car is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop.

Finally, when a car is stopped at an intersection to allow pedestrians to cross, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear should not pass the stopped vehicle.

Because the sun rises later and sets earlier, there are more pedestrians before and after daylight hours. Children are going to or getting out of school or walking to their bus stop, and adults are walking to or from home or work.

About a third of pedestrian crashes happen during the weekday rush hour driving time, defined as 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. One out of every four pedestrian fatal crashes occurred between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The most cited contributing factors to all pedestrian crashes is driver failure to yield right of way and driver distraction or inattention.