Pedestrians and distracted driving in Minnesota

In 2014, 361 people died in auto accidents in Minnesota, 15 of which were pedestrians. In 2015, there were 411 people killed, of which 39 were pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is putting a lot of attention on distracted driving lately. This awareness is being highlighted not just in Minnesota but around the country.

How serious is distracted driving?

Overall in 2015, more than 390,000 injures in motor vehicle accidents are said to have resulted in crashes involving some type of distraction. On top of that, close to 3,500 lives were lost at the hands of distracted drivers.

Distracted driving does not refer only to texting although it is one of the most dangerous distractions. This is because it takes a person's hands, mind and eyes off the road. In the mere five seconds it takes to send the typical text, a vehicle can cover the length of a football field when travelling at 55 miles per hour. A lot of damage can be done in that distance.

Is distraction as factor in fatality increase?

According to MPR News, distraction is being pointed to as a primary contributing factor to an ongoing rise in the number of people killed in vehicle crashes . From 2010 to 2015, the nation as a whole experienced a six-percent increase in the number of vehicular fatalities.

As tragic as that may seem, even more troubling is the fact that pedestrian fatalities jumped by 25 percent in the same timeframe. The spike in pedestrian deaths is said to be the biggest one in forty years.

How many people have died in Minnesota?

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that after 395 deaths in traffic accidents in 2012, Minnesota experienced two years of declines and recorded 361 fatalities in 2014. That, however, was followed by a jump up to 411 in 2015.

When it comes to pedestrian deaths, the state saw drops for three successive years with a low of 15 deaths in 2014. In 2015, however, 39 people on foot were killed in Minnesota.

How many people have died in or near Washington County?

Between 2011 and 2015, Washington County experienced 44 total vehicular deaths, four of which were pedestrians. Neighboring Ramsey, Anoka and Dakota Counties all lost 75 people in those five years. Pedestrian deaths there accounted for 24, nine and 10 fatalities, respectively. In Chisago County, three pedestrians were among the 29 people who died in all vehicle crashes.

What should I do if I am involved in a crash?

Regardless of the circumstances, Minnesotans should always contact an attorney after an accident. This is the best way to get the facts about the law and how to protect one's rights.