Jul 28, 2015 1:00 AM

Author: Zach Robinson MPA, EMT-P


Tips for staying safe as a pedestrian

According to the NTHSA, on average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. Fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated three percent of those injured in traffic crashes are pedestrians. In our community, incidents involving pedestrians occur every four days.

Some alarming national statistics include the following:

  • 69 percent of pedestrians killed in 2012 and 2013 were males.
  • Alcohol involvement—either for the driver or for the pedestrian—was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.
  • More than a quarter (26 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities occurred between 6–9 pm.
  • 46 is the average age of pedestrians killed in 2012 and 2013, and 36 is the average age of those injured in 2013.

Staying safe when walking AND driving will help to decrease the rate of auto pedestrian accidents. When out and about, please pay attention and use common sense so you do not become a statistic. The following are a few tips that will keep you safe:

While Walking

  • Always keep a look out for vehicles entering or exiting driveways.
  • Be predictable, follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks when available.
  • Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Don’t listen to loud music while walking in traffic.

While Driving

  • Watch 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.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.

For more safety tips, view the NHTSA Everyone is a Pedestrian website. 


Zach Robinson MPA, EMT-P

Zach Robinson MPA, EMT-P, is the Trauma Outreach/Injury Prevention Coordinator at University of Utah Hospital. Follow him on Twitter @UofUtrauma.

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