Rochester, Minnesota (KROC-AM News) - As there are more hours of darkness this time of year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists and pedestrians to use caution on Minnesota roads as past statistics show pedestrian crashes and fatalities increase during the fall months.

Pedestrian Crashes, Fatalities Increase During Fall Month in Minnesota

According to a news release from MnDOT, more hours of darkness this time of year can contribute to an increased number of crashes between people driving and walking. Motor vehicle crashes have killed 45 pedestrians in 2021, which is nine more pedestrian deaths than this time last year.

According to crash facts from the Department of Public Safety, 45 people died and 654 others were injured in crashes with vehicles while walking in 2020.

“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. “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.”

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Crosswalk Law and Additional Safety Tips

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

You can always find more information on MnDOT's website.

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