Pedestrian safety on Minnesota streets is often overlooked in favor of measures that will keep drivers safe from auto accidents. While some cities have taken certain measures, such as building pedestrian bridges over busy roads, there are still many areas around the Twin Cities that are unsafe and nearly unwalkable. This puts more of a burden on the pedestrian to avoid accidents with vehicles, even though the driver of the vehicle is often the one at fault for an accident that caused injuries to a pedestrian.
Our see Minnesota pedestrian accident lawyers an increase in pedestrian accidents in the spring when the weather warms up. If you like to walk to work or just for leisure, now is the perfect time to brush up on some tips to keep yourself safe. Here are some pedestrian safety tips that save lives in Minnesota every spring.
Wear High-Visibility Clothing
If you walk your dog after work or leave to catch the bus early in the morning, consider whether your clothing will make you visible to cars. Reflective vests and waistbands are great for reflecting headlights and warning drivers of your presence. If you cannot wear a special material, try to choose a lighter and brighter color: neon green or orange, white, and light gray are good options. Since it’s Minnesota, we spend a good portion of the year wearing a jacket. If you know you’ll be walking a lot with your coat on, it’s a great idea to pick one in a lighter color.
Remain Vigilant At Crosswalks
One of the best pedestrian crossing safety tips is to stay vigilant. Sadly, many pedestrians are struck by vehicles while crossing an intersection, even when they have the right-of-way. We often talk about “defensive driving,” but pedestrians must also be defensive to keep themselves safe. Don’t ever assume you are safe just because you have the “walk” signal. Drivers can – and do – run red lights, fail to yield, and ignore stop signs. It shouldn’t be the pedestrian’s responsibility to make up for the driver’s mistake, but it’s what you must do to guarantee your safety.
Watch Out for Blind Spots
As a pedestrian, it is important to consider the speed of cars around you and whether they have time to stop before you decide to cross the street, especially if you are not using a crosswalk. Drivers may not expect you to be in the road to begin with, and they are even more likely to be surprised if you are walking out from behind a blind spot – for example, walking out from behind a parked car or rounding the corner of a building straight into traffic. We know pedestrians sometimes cross the street outside of the crosswalks because they are placed in such inconvenient locations – that fact is not your fault. However, if you are struck by a vehicle outside of a crosswalk or when coming around a corner, the driver’s personal injury attorney may argue that you are at fault for the accident.
Minnesota Pedestrian Injury Attorneys
Despite their best efforts to follow these safety tips, many pedestrians are struck and injured by vehicles each year in Minnesota. Our Minnesota pedestrian injury attorneys work with clients who have broken bones, head trauma, and even paralysis as the result of an accident involving a vehicle. If you or a family member has been injured by a vehicle while walking on a Minnesota street, our attorneys are here to advocate on your behalf.