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Editorial: Keep an eye out for pedestrians as days get shorter

With fall weather here and less than two weeks to go until the end of Daylight Saving Time, the number of daylight hours is decreasing.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, there is an increase in the number of crashes between motorists and pedestrians in the fall with more hours of darkness.

The agency states 33 pedestrians have died so far this year in motor vehicle crashes. Last year, 45 pedestrians died and 987 were injured in crashes with vehicles.

Motorists and pedestrians alike should take extra precaution during nighttime hours, including avoiding distractions and other dangerous behavior.

MnDOT advises drivers to do the following:

• Stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections.

• Never pass a vehicle stopped at an intersection.

• Scan the road and sides of the road for pedestrians.

Pedestrians should obey traffic signs and signals and not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it would be impossible for the driver to stop.

According to the Department of Transportation, about one-third of pedestrian crashes happen during the weekday rush hour driving time, defined as 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. One out of every four pedestrian fatal crashes occurs between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Be cautious when people are typically out and slow down to prevent a crash.