Realities of pedestrian risks in Minnesota

Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere, anytime in Minnesota. They can involve one or more passenger vehicles, large tractor trailers, motorcycles, buses and more. Pedestrians are also frequently the victims of such collisions. Their lack of external protection makes pedestrians extremely susceptible to serious personal injuries or even wrongful death when hit by automobiles.

How common are pedestrian accidents in Minnesota?

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the year 2012 report that close to 10 percent of all fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in the state of Minnesota were pedestrians. A total of 395 people died in all auto wrecks in the state and 38 of those were people on foot.

The vast majority of counties in Minnesota had no pedestrian deaths at all in 2012. Olmsted County, however, was not one of those. Of the two traffic fatalities in the county that year, one was a pedestrian.

News headlines routinely report on pedestrian accidents. The NBC affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul, KARE Channel 11, recently ran a story about a woman who was hit by a school bus when she was attempting to cross a street. The bus driver apparently did not see her as the bus attempted to turn the corner.

How common are pedestrian accidents in the U.S.?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2010, approximately 4,200 of the nearly 70,000 pedestrians involved in accidents died as the result of the injuries they sustained. The NHTSA indicates that number was an increase by four percent over the pedestrian death rate in 2009.

The NHTSA’s statistics show that the increase in pedestrian fatalities continued into 2011 when 4,432 pedestrians were killed. That same year, they reported that 69,000 pedestrians were injured. Victims under the age of 15 accounted for 11,000 of those injured parties.

The CDC also asserts that minors have a high rate of risk when pedestrians noting that an average of one-fourth of persons under 14 that lose their lives in vehicular accidents are pedestrians. Senior citizens are also vulnerable and together persons over 65 or between five and 10 accounted for about 40 percent of all pedestrian deaths in 2010.

Accident prevention tips

Wearing bright clothing and obeying all traffic laws are two of the ways that pedestrians can help to stay safe. Looking both ways whether crossing a street or walking through a parking lot is wise as well. When walking along a street without a sidewalk, walking against traffic on the opposite side of the street can improve visibility and response time for foot traffic.

Post-accident help

When an accident is unable to be avoided, victims and their family members deserve help. Contacting an attorney should be one of the first actions taken. This is often the most professional way of obtaining the compensation that is appropriate in the face of an accident.