Pedestrian Safety

The Problem

The Governors Highway Safety Association estimated that pedestrian deaths across the nation rose 4 percent to 6,227 last year.

That full-year figure — which is based on a statistical analysis of the first six months of the year — would mark the most pedestrian fatalities since 1990.

Pedestrian deaths are up 51.5 percent since hitting a low of 4,109 in 2009, according to GHSA. They now make up 16 percent of all road deaths, up from 12 percent in 2009.

In New Hampshire, there were 42 pedestrian deaths between 2016 and 2018. That represents 11% of all motor vehicle deaths during those three years. These deaths were, like the majority (about 94%) of all motor vehicle deaths, preventable.

Minimizing the Risk

Make the effort to be prepared before walking. Exercise Caution. See and be seen.

  • Wear bright clothing (during the day)
  • Wear reflective gear when appropriate
  • Use lights at night or when visibility is poor (white in front, red in the rear – just like a car)
  • Plan your safest route – safer routes have less traffic, slower speeds, lighting, sidewalks, and, if possible, separate yourself from traffic by using sidewalks or paths
  • Follow all existing rules and laws to increase your safety
  • If sidewalks or paths are not available, walk as far to the left as possible, facing traffic
  • Look left-right-left and behind for traffic before crossing a driveway or road
  • Cross in marked crosswalks, at corners, or at intersections.
  • Obey pedestrian crossing signals.

The above information is from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their infographic provides more information on pedestrian safety. Please print it and use it to educate others.