One might assume that pedestrian safety is only an issue in highly-populated cities in Minnesota. However, pedestrians in rural areas are also at risk of being struck by a car. In fact, according to one study, pedestrian safety is a serious issue on reservations in rural areas of the state.
For example, the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota has seen five pedestrian fatalities over the past five years. Also, on U.S. Hwy. 169 in the Mille Lacs Reservation, there have been between five and 10 pedestrian accidents over the past 10 years.
This is significant, as walking is the primary mode of transportation for many people on Minnesota reservations. Moreover, pedestrians on reservations have a greater chance of being hit by an automobile than pedestrians in other rural areas of Minnesota.
Across the U.S., motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of accidental injury for Indians under 44-year-old, outstripping the rate of injury-causing auto-pedestrian accidents amongst any other ethnic or racial group in the nation. However, this issue is going unnoticed. Tribal members at Minnesota’s four reservations have stated that the state needs to erect more signs, make infrastructure safer for pedestrians and enforce existing laws regarding pedestrians.
As this shows, auto-pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere in Minnesota, even rural areas. When a pedestrian in Minnesota is struck by a car, they could suffer catastrophic injuries that could change the trajectory of their lives forever. In the worst of circumstances, a pedestrian can die after being struck by a car. When such incidents occur, pedestrians or their loved ones will want to determine what options they have to be compensated for the harm they suffered.