At some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian. While pedestrian fatalities remain high, there was a 1.7% decrease in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2017, totaling 5,977 deaths. NHTSA raises awareness of the dangers to pedestrians by providing safety tips, educational material and other resources. Find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones when walking, and learn how you can help us prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.
TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS
Know the Basics—Pedestrian Safety 10 Walking Safety Tips
Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate 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.
Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
9 Driving Safety Tips
Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
Finding and Creating Walkable Communities
Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities Want to improve the walkability of your neighborhood? Learn from the examples of other communities working to improve pedestrian safety.
Keeping Your Kids Safe While They Walk
Elementary school children are very active and impulsive. Although they’re learning and growing, school-age children 10 and younger still need guidance and supervision when playing and walking near traffic.
Strengthen your traffic safety knowledge: Teach and reinforce your children's pedestrian safety habits. * A Kid's Guide to Safe Walking (PDF, 3.04 MB) This colorful pamphlet will help you teach young children safety tips for crossing the street and things to remember when walking. * Tips for Preteens & Teens: Prevent Pedestrian Crashes (PDF, 3.30 MB)
Remind your preteens and teens that walking around traffic requires the same critical thinking skills as riding a bike or driving a car: Stop, look left-right-left, be safe and be seen.
Walking Safely and Staying Fit as You Age Stepping Out as an Older Adult — Be Healthy, Walk Safely Share this resource with your aging parents to help them maintain their safety while walking for exercise or running errands.
If you're an advocate of pedestrian safety, or perhaps you work on a State or local pedestrian program, our curriculum and resources will equip you with the tools and information you need to effectively promote pedestrian safety.
Accessible Pathways & Livable Communities Pocket Guide Pocket guide containing pathway accessibility and livability concepts for communities to consider (from Easter Seals).
Checklist for Assessing the Accessibility of Transportation and Mobility Introduction and instructions on using a checklist to assess the accessibility of a transit route, including the path of travel (from Easter Seals).
Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum Lesson plans, assessment guides, and student response forms to teach and encourage pedestrian safety to children in kindergarten through 5th grade.
ESL Teacher's Guide and Student Workbook: Walk and Bike Safely ESL guide and workbook to teach and encourage pedestrian and bike safety to adult immigrant students who are beginning English language learners.
Neighborhood Wayfinding Assessment Pocket Guide Guide and checklist to help you find your way in your community (from Easter Seals).
Pedestrian Safer Journey – Skills for Safe Walking for Ages 5 to 18 Interactive training package for children in elementary through high school to develop skills for safe walking.
Pedestrian Safety Workshop: A Focus on Older Adults (PDF, 3.54 MB) and Instructor Guide (PDF, 3.54 MB) Presentation and guide for teaching older adults what they can do to increase their safety as pedestrians during this three-hour workshop.
Tips for Preteens & Teens: Prevent Pedestrian Crashes (PDF, 3.30 MB) Walking around traffic requires the same critical thinking skills as riding your bike and driving a car. Apply the same walking skills you learned as a kid: stop, look left-right-left for traffic and be safe, be seen. Use these skills when you walk, and encourage others to do the same.
Traffic Safety Facts – Children (PDF, 803.25 KB) Of the 5,987 pedestrian traffic fatalities, 245 (4%) were children in 2016.
Traffic Safety Facts – Pedestrians (PDF, 573.55 KB) 5,987 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2016, a 9% increase from the number reported in 2015.
Visit FHWA's pedestrian web pages for additional information.
MORE INFORMATION AT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S WEBSITE: https://www.nhtsa.gov