While in the midst of winter, fewer Minnesota residents may be outside for exercise or pleasure walks than during other seasons. However, that does not eliminate opportunities for people to be pedestrians. Even walking across a parking lot to get into a store puts someone in that position. Whether walking the dog, heading into a store or waiting for a bus, pedestrians are everywhere and new information suggests that they face more dangers than in prior years.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 17 pedestrians died statewide in 2014. The following year that number jumped to 41. In 2016, 60 pedestrians were killed in Minnesota. This trend in the state mirrors that across the nation. Data from the National Safety Council indicates that in 2009, pedestrian fatalities comprised 12 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the United States. In 2015, deaths of people on foot accounted for 15 percent of all vehicular fatalities. That jump included a rise from more than 4,100 to nearly 5,400 lives lost.
The 2016 pedestrian death count in Minnesota represents the greatest number of these fatalities in 25 years. It is believed that distraction on the part of drivers may be a major contributing factor to this increase.
People who are injured or who lose loved ones as pedestrians deserve help. Talking with an attorney may offer some insight to people on how they may appropriately seek compensation. This can be important for those who were injured themselves or for those who mourn the death of their family members.
Source: Fox News, "Minnesota pedestrian death spike illustrates grim US trend," Jan. 6, 2017