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Fall is a deadly time for pedestrians, MnDOT says

It's the worst season for pedestrians, because there are less hours of daylight.
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Look both ways before you cross the street, the Department of Transportation says fall is the deadliest season for pedestrians.

That's because there are more hours of darkness this time of year, MnDOT said in a news release.

With the sun rising earlier and setting later, it can be hard to see pedestrians who are out before or after daylight hours, which increases the risk of crashes, the release said.

Pedestrian crash statistics

So far this year, 37 pedestrians have been killed in Minnesota – compared to 23 at this time last year.

In total, the department says there were 41 pedestrian deaths and 904 injuries in 2015.

About a third of pedestrian crashes happen during rush hour on week days, aka 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

And one in every four fatal crashes occurs at night – between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Male pedestrians are more likely to be killed or injured, accounting for 68 percent of fatalities and 53 percent of all injuries in 2015.

Police in St. Paul have handed out 481 citations and 36 warnings during 53 pedestrian safety events this year, the Star Tribune said.

Remember, pedestrians have the right of way

MnDOT said that drivers failing to yield right of way and driver distraction or inattention were the biggest contributing factors to pedestrian crashes.

But pedestrians need to follow the rules too.

“Motorists and pedestrians are equally at fault when we look at our crash data. That means that both groups need to know and obey the laws," Jay Hietpas, MnDOT state traffic engineer said in the release.

That includes obeying traffic signs and signals at all intersections, and not entering a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it seems impossible for the driver to stop in time.

The department said pedestrians should use common sense, because there's no defined distance that they should abide by before entering the crosswalk.

You can read more about pedestrian and crosswalk laws here.

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