MnDOT: Pedestrian crashes increase during shorter, darker days of fall

A crosswalk in Faribault, Minn.

MnDOT officials are warning Minnesota drivers to be aware of pedestrians as crashes increase during the fall months.

According to a release from MnDOT, the shorter days and more hours of darkness contribute to the increase.

In 2019, 33 pedestrians have been killed on Minnesota roads. In all of 2018, 45 pedestrians were killed and another 997 were injured.

“It’s more difficult to see people walking in the dark, so we see an increased risk for pedestrian crashes in the fall as daylight hours diminish,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. “Both drivers and walkers need to know and obey the laws to maximize safety. Remember, all of us walk at some point in our day.”

MnDOT encouraged motorists to review its crosswalk rules and regulations. Here are the highlights of the law supplied by MnDOT: 

  • 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.