Now that we are in the fall season MNDOT urges people to be careful when crossing the street, walking by roadways, or biking. This is the worst time of the year for pedestrians according to most research. Why is the fall the deadliest time of year? Many reasons, that's why you should exercise care when walking or biking somewhere.

One of the reasons for this rise in accidents is the shorter days and longer nights.  With less daylight,  many pedestrians are harder to see.  Because the sun rises later and sets earlier, there are more pedestrians out before and after daylight hours, increasing the risk of crashes. Children are going to or getting out of school or walking to their bus stop, and adults are walking to or home from work.

For some reason I am seeing more and more bus drivers talking about the fact that people don't slow down for the busses anymore, let alone stop for the stop sign and flashing lights. 1/3rd of crashes involving pedestrians happen during rush hour traffic.

 

So what can you do?

MNDOT has these pointers to be a safer driver and pedestrian:

  • Motorists should stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights. Remember it's the law and most of the time it is marked with a sign.
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them. Don't think you can beat that car or truck coming.
  • Vehicles stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
  • Pedestrians shouldn’t enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop. There is no defined distance that a pedestrian must abide by before entering the crosswalk; common sense should be used.
  • Exercise care, sometimes there is ice you can't see, nor can the motorist and once they hit the brakes will slide right into you.
  • Teach your children how to be safe and check both ways. It will help them to be safer drivers too.