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Pedestrians more at risk for car accidents in fall months

Fall is a dangerous time to be a pedestrian in Minnesota. That is because more auto-pedestrian accidents occur during those months than any other time of the year.

Pedestrians were involved in 17 fatal accidents and 801 injury accidents in Minnesota in 2014. Some 260 accidents involving pedestrians and autos, or 31.7 percent of the year's total, took place during the final three months of the year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. This compares with 24.3 percent of pedestrian accidents occurring in the spring, and 25.6 percent of the year's total in the summer months. Winter may be the safest time to be a pedestrian, since only 18.2 percent of the total accidents took place them. The state agency says results for the previous five years are similar.

The state says motorists and pedestrians are equally at fault for the accidents. Motorists need to drive at speeds that are safe for highway conditions while being on the lookout for pedestrians. Pedestrians need to look both ways when crossing streets and should not cross outside a crosswalk. Almost a third of pedestrians killed in 2014 were not using a crosswalk or were crossing the street where there were no signals.

All traffic accidents can be serious, but auto-pedestrian accidents can be even more so. Pedestrians usually suffer more serious injuries when they are hit by autos because they aren't protected by a metal shell surrounding them as motor vehicle occupants are. In the event that a pedestrian who had the right of way in a crosswalk is injured by an impaired or otherwise negligent driver, a personal injury attorney might be of assistance in seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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