Pedestrian Safety

When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, more than 80 percent of the time the pedestrian is killed or seriously injured. In Michigan, more than 100 pedestrians die each year. Most of these deaths occur between 6 p.m. and midnight, with many fatalities occurring when pedestrians cross the roadway somewhere other than at an intersection or when a driver fails to yield.

Pedestrians should:

  • Use sidewalks whenever available.
  • Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.
  • Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.
  • If you must walk along the roadway, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Always stop at the edge of a parked car, curb, or vehicle before walking out into traffic.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street and continue looking while crossing.
  • Make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing roadways.
  • Be visible: wear reflective clothing and lights at night and wear bright colors during the day.
  • Never allow children under age 10 to cross the streets alone. Young children do not have the skills to accurately judge traffic risks.

Drivers should:

  • Obey traffic signals, signs and markings.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Stop well back from the crosswalk 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.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.
  • Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.
  • Make eye contact with pedestrians waiting to cross roadways.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.

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