Minnesota ranked among most dangerous for pedestrians nationwide

Pedestrian Safety in Minnesota

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(ABC 6 News) – A new report published by the Injured in Florida Attorney group found the state of Minnesota as one of the most dangerous for pedestrians in the country.

This comes after 7,000 pedestrians were killed in 2021, and over 60,000 injured nationwide, according to data gathered by USDOT.

Minnesota State Patrol urges drivers, when you’re behind the wheel, to keep those around you in mind.

“It’s important to increase following distance, limit distractions in the vehicle, and just focus on driving; and make sure you’re a defensive driver,” said Sgt. Troy Christianson, Public Information Officer of Minnesota State Patrol. “Defensive driving is paying attention to the unknown, it can be other vehicles, unknown road conditions; you want to be driving to make sure you’re aware of the conditions or other people on the road.”

Some of the contributing factors to pedestrian-related collisions can include light conditions, location of the intersection or road-shoulder, time of day and current road conditions.

According to state patrol, as a licensed driver, you assume the responsibility of driving conditions and ability to reasonably operate your vehicle.

“We have four main factors for fatal crashes in the state of Minnesota; one of them is distracted driving, putting down your phone, you don’t want any distractions while you’re driving,” said Christianson. “Also just wear a seatbelt, never drink and drive; the last one is unsafe speed, where you just have to drive a speed that is safe for the conditions.”

According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one pedestrian was killed every hour in 2021.

“We’re always looking at what the traffic volume is, how many vehicles are coming through there each day, what is the crash rate there and are their issues?” said Mike Dougherty, spokesperson for Minnesota Department of Transportation.

“We do a lot of public engagement in advance for a construction project, when we identify that work needs to happen on that road, then we go into that community and say ‘what are you seeing, how do you use this road?'”

NHTSA Pedestrian Safety Programs focus on safe people, safe speeds, safe roads, safe vehicles, and post-crash care.

According to MN DOT, safety is at the forefront of everything they do, and roundabouts are the perfect example of that.

“Roundabouts are put in for safety first, it’s to reduce those right-angle high-speed collisions; we call them life-altering crashes, where you have a serious injury or there’s a fatality,” said Dougherty.