We all must take responsibility to follow the law, pay attention and share the road. Follow the law and these safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.
Safety tips for pedestrians and motorists
Look before you cross
- Make eye contact with drivers and ensure they see you and will stop
- Clearly show your intentions to cross
- Watch for turning and passing vehicles
- Look across ALL lanes for moving vehicles before proceeding
Make yourself visible to drivers
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing
- Cross in a well-lit area at night
- Wear bright-colored clothing and reflective material
- Mount a safety flag on a wheelchair, motorized cart or stroller
Avoid dangerous and distracted behaviors
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections; don’t cross-mid block
- Remove headphones and stay off cell phones while crossing
- Obey all traffic signals
- Don't solely rely on traffic signals; look for vehicles before crossing
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
- If intoxicated, don't walk without assistance—a cab ride home may be a safer option
Stop for crossing pedestrians
- Stop for crossing pedestrians at every intersection, even those without crosswalks or stop lights
- Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians
- Leave lots of room between you and the pedestrian when stopping
Watch for pedestrians at all times
- Scan the road and sides of the road ahead for pedestrians
- Look carefully behind your vehicle before backing up, especially for small children
- Watch for people in wheelchairs and motorized carts, who may be below eye level
Avoid distracted and aggressive driving
- Put away the cell phones, food and make-up
- Stop for pedestrians, even when they are in the wrong or crossing mid-block
- Never pass or drive around a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians
- Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs
- Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights.
- Pedestrians must obey traffic-control signals at all intersections that have them.
- Pedestrians must obey pedestrian control signals.
- Vehicles stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
- Pedestrians must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop. There is no defined distance that a pedestrian must abide by before entering the crosswalk; use common sense.
- When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection to allow pedestrians to cross the roadway, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear must not pass the stopped vehicle.
- Failure to obey the law is a misdemeanor. A second violation within one year is a gross misdemeanor.
Read the full Crosswalk Law from Minnesota Statute 169.21.
View more information on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.
Pedestrian-vehicle crash trends
- Pedestrian-vehicle crash rates are highest during morning and evening rush hours. The number of severe crashes spikes at 2 a.m.
- October is traditionally the deadliest month for pedestrians.
- The majority of crashes occur at intersections. Of these, the majority are at signalized intersections.
- The majority of crashes occur on low-speed roadways (35 mph or less) and in urbanized areas, particularly Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The most severe and fatal crashes disproportionately occur in rural areas compared to population size.
- Motorist behaviors that primarily cause pedestrian-vehicle crashes include failure to yield, inattention and distraction.
- Pedestrian behaviors that primarily cause pedestrian-vehicle crashes include inattention, crossing mid-block, walking along the roadway and ignoring sign or signals.
- About one-third of pedestrians tested in fatal crashes have high alcohol content in their bloodstreams.
- In 2017, males accounted for 67 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
- In 2017, 42 pedestrians were killed and 1,053 pedestrians were injured on Minnesota roads.
- UPDATE Five percent of all pedestrian crashes resulted in a death. That's 10 times deadlier than fatal traffic crashes, which are one-half of one percent of all traffic crashes.
- UPDATE In 2015, persons over 54 years old accounted for 44 percent of pedestrians killed and 20 percent of pedestrians injured.
- UPDATE In 2015, one-third of pedestrians killed that were tested had high alcohol content in their bloodstreams.