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Caution urged for Minnesota drivers, pedestrians this fall

MnDOT officials say pedestrian crashes and fatalities increase during the fall months.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials are urging motorists and pedestrians to use more caution this time of year as we start to lose more daylight.

"One life lost on our roadways is too many. Fall and winter months are especially dangerous for people walking because we have fewer hours of daylight," said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer, in a news release. "We can keep ourselves and each other safe when driving by slowing down and stopping for people crossing the road. When you are walking, stay alert and look in all directions before crossing the street because drivers may not see you, day or night." 

Car crashes have killed 45 Minnesota pedestrians so far in 2021, which is an increase from this time last year. According to the Department of Safety, 654 others were injured in crashes with vehicles while walking in 2020.

MnDOT officials say these behaviors can help:

When driving:

  • Watch for people walking, anywhere at any time
  • Stop for people crossing the road
  • Look in all directions before turning
  • Slow down for people; slower speeds save lives
  • Before passing stopped vehicles, check for people crossing the road

When walking:

  • Be alert for turning vehicles
  • Look for vehicles in all lanes of traffic before crossing
  • People driving may not see you, day or night
  • Cross in a well-lit area when possible
  • Stand clear of parked cars and obstacles before crossing

Safety officials want to remind everyone that October is National Pedestrian Safety Month.

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