Distractions and drug use are causing an increase in pedestrian fatalities in Minnesota and across the U.S., according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. The GHSA report, which was released in February, states that 5,984 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2017.
In 2016, there were approximately 6,000 pedestrians killed throughout the United States. This was according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, and the number represents a 22 percent increase in the past two years. Minnesota pedestrians are generally more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident because they have little or nothing to protect themselves from the impact.
Minnesota pedestrians who are walking in low-income neighborhoods may be more likely to be hit by a car. This was one of the findings in both a white paper released by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in 2016 and a report by the nonprofit Smart Growth America in 2017. Hispanics have a 50 percent higher fatality rate compared to whites, and the rate is almost twice as high for African-Americans.
Minnesota pedestrians may be in more danger of involvement in a deadly traffic accident than people in vehicles even though the fatality rate for traffic accidents in general has risen. However, the pedestrian death rate has risen disproportionately. In 2006, 11 percent of traffic-related fatalities were pedestrian deaths, but by 2015, that number had risen to 15 percent. Furthermore, overall, pedestrian deaths went up 25 percent from 2010 to 2015 compared with a rise of 6 percent in total traffic deaths. In 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents.
A Minnesota Army National Guard member is dead after a motorcyclist struck her. The incident happened during the early morning hours of Sept. 25.
Many Minnesota residents know that walking is an excellent form of exercise that promotes good health. For many people, however, a walk along a major roadway can turn dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,884 pedestrians died in 2014 as a result of being struck by a vehicle. This averages to about 12 people daily. A further 65,000 people were injured due to pedestrian-car accidents during the same year.
Pedestrian accidents happen quite often, and many pedestrians that are struck in these wrecks suffer fatal injuries. In the Twin Cities area, there were 3,069 pedestrian crashes from 2010 to 2014, and of those wrecks, 95 pedestrians were killed. What's interesting about this data is that crashes in the suburbs accounted for nearly double the number of pedestrian fatalities as accidents in the cities. Even more interesting, and infuriating, many of these fatal wrecks didn't result in punishment for the drivers involved.
Every year, many pedestrians are seriously injured or even killed when they are hit by motor vehicles. Pedestrians should take preventative measures to avoid being struck by cars, and drivers should always be aware of their surroundings so they can spot pedestrians.
When someone in Minnesota is injured in a pedestrian accident, it might be the fault of a driver or of the pedestrian. In some cases, both parties might be considered negligent and thus partly responsible. A negligent party has failed to abide by a reasonable duty of care. For a pedestrian, this may mean walking against signals or stepping out in front of vehicles. A driver may be negligent for driving under the influence, driving too fast for weather conditions, not using a turn signal, not yielding to pedestrians and a number of other actions.
A young child was hit by a car on Aug. 21 in North Branch. The North Branch Police Department is in charge of the investigation. According to subsequent reports, the boy was walking along Fill Avenue with his father at around 8:00 p.m. As they neared the intersection with 375th Street, a nearby 46-year-old driver lost control of her car. The vehicle then veered across the street and struck the boy.