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Pedestrian Safety: Statistics & Tips – 2021 Update

Pedestrian Statistics

Despite fewer cars on the roads last year, pedestrian fatalities increased. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that there were 6,721 pedestrian deaths in 2020, a nearly five-percent increase from 2019. Per mile driven, pedestrian fatalities increased just over 20% in the first half of 2020 with risky driving to blame. Pedestrian fatalities have grown year over year since 2009.

Pedestrians and motorists share a responsibility to reduce safety risks on the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has 10 walking safety tips for pedestrians and nine pedestrian safety tips for drivers to follow.

10 Walking Safety Tips for Pedestrians

1. Be predictable.

  • Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

2. Walk on sidewalks.

3. No sidewalk? Walk facing traffic as far from it as possible.

4. Stay alert.

  • Keep your eyes and ears on the road and avoid distractions from electronic devices.

5. Use crosswalks whenever possible.

  • Only cross where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.

6. No crosswalk? Find a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic.

  • Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.

7. Never assume a driver sees you.

  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.

8. Be visible at all times.

  • During the day, wear bright clothing and at night it’s best to wear reflective materials or use a flashlight.

9. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.

10. Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking.

  • Alcohol and drugs impair decision-making skills and physical reflexes.

9 Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers

1. Pedestrians are everywhere, look out for them at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.

2. Use extra caution at night or in bad weather.

3. Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.

4. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk.

  • Stopping your vehicle far from the crosswalk gives other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians.

5. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.

  • If a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk, it is likely they are waiting for people to cross that you can’t see.

6. Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

7. Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.

8. Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.

9. Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, learn about your legal options from one of our skilled personal injury attorneys. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or complete our online contact form.