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Accidents involving pedestrians increase in the fall

Fall is the deadliest season for pedestrians in Minnesota, according to data from the state Department of Public Safety. In Minnesota for 2014, there were 17 fatal accidents involving pedestrians and 801 injury accidents. From October through Dec...

Fall is the deadliest season for pedestrians in Minnesota, according to data from the state Department of Public Safety.

In Minnesota for 2014, there were 17 fatal accidents involving pedestrians and 801 injury accidents. From October through December, there were 260 total pedestrian-versus-vehicle crashes, or 31.7 percent of the year's accidents, Department of Public Safety statistics show. In 2013, 273, or 31.4 percent of injury or fatal pedestrian-versus-vehicle accidents, occurred in the fall. Spring crashes in 2014 accounted for 24.3 percent of crashes, summer crashes accounted for 25.6 percent and winter crashes accounted for 18.2 percent. There were similar results from the past five years.

"With more hours of darkness in the fall, pedestrians are more difficult to see," Sue Groth, MnDOT state traffic engineer, said in a news release. "Motorists and pedestrians are equally at fault when we look at our crash data. That means that both groups need to know and obey the laws."

Dave Boxum, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said avoiding these pedestrian-vehicle accidents is simple.

"Motorists need to drive at safe speeds, be alert for pedestrians, and stop for them when they are crossing," he said. "Pedestrians need to practice common sense when wanting to cross the street - continue to look both ways when crossing and try to make eye contact with the driver before crossing."

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Department of Public Safety data also showed that a majority of accidents since 2010 involving pedestrians are between 3 and 9 p.m.

Minnesota statistics also show that in 2014, 33 vehicles in pedestrian collisions were going straight when they hit a pedestrian. About 32 percent of pedestrians killed in accidents were crossing the road outside of a crosswalk or when there was no signal, the statistics show.

Vehicles making left turns caused three fatal accidents with pedestrians and 202 injury accidents in 2014 in Minnesota.

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