Pedestrian safety

Too many pedestrians are injured or killed from traffic crashes around the world and a multitude of organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the World Health Organization are working to raise awareness surrounding pedestrian safety, while striving to provide helpful resources in order to lower the injury and fatality rates of pedestrians in the United States and around the world.

Pedestrian statistics

  • In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States.
  • In 2015, 129,000 pedestrians were treated in the ER for non-fatal crash-related injuries.
  • Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash.
  • Pedestrians 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and 13% of all pedestrians injured in 2015.
  • In 2015, 1 in 5 children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
  • Almost half of crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol for the driver or pedestrian.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Safety tips for pedestrians

Pedestrians are equally responsible as drivers for taking safety precautions to lower the risk of an accident. Whether you’re walking to the park with your kid, heading to class on campus, or walking home after a late dinner, here are 5 tips to stay safe as a pedestrian.

Be visible

According to the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 32% of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. Wear bright colored clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night to increase visibility. When crossing the street, make eye contact with the driver whenever possible and be especially vigilant at night, dusk, dawn or in circumstances of low-light or bad weather.

Avoid distractions

Your eyes and ears are the best tools that you have to remain safe as a pedestrian. Seeing and hearing helps you tune into your surroundings and anticipate changing circumstances. Put away your phone and take out your headphones until you arrive at your destination safely.

Follow the rules

Traffic rules, road signs and signals are there for not only the cars but also for the safety of pedestrians. Pay attention to the restrictions and obey all instructions so that all drivers and pedestrians are on the same page in the rule book. This will help avoid misunderstandings between you and other drivers.

Walk in safe spots

Walk in well-lit areas and use a crosswalk or stay on the sidewalk. Always walk on the side of the road facing traffic so that a dangerous situation doesn’t sneak up behind you, without you seeing it first.

Don’t drink

Consider the effects of alcohol before you decide to walk home from the bar after the big game. Alcohol impairs decision making skills and reflex time which can increase your chance of being involved in an accident. Plan in advance if you are going to have a few drinks, and have a designated driver take you home.

After two years of increases, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. is remaining steady with nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2017, according to National Public Radio. The Governors Highway Safety Association states that it’s the highest it has been in 25 years. Do your part and help end the high rate of pedestrian-vehicle accidents.

If you or a family member are involved in a pedestrian accident, speak with a local attorney to discuss how to best proceed with your case.