Educating Adult Pedestrians

The challenge of crossing streets can make a casualty of even a fit, healthy and alert adult. Bad weather, fast-moving traffic, inattention by drivers or pedestrians can make situations worse.

Key Messages for Adult Pedestrians

A group of adults participate in a walk audit.Some general pedestrian safety messages can be found in Safety Tips for Pedestrians. Others include:

  • Be predictable. Stay off freeways and restricted zones. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
  • Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
  • Make it easy for drivers to see you — dress in light colors and wear reflective material. It might be wise to carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
  • Buy "workout" clothes that incorporate reflective materials and that are highly visible.
  • Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don't count on them paying attention. Watch out — make eye contact to be sure they see you!
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person's ability to drive.
  • Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

Strategies for Educating Adult Pedestrians

  • Incorporate pedestrian safety messages into public relations efforts (news releases, fact sheets for local officials, press events, etc.).
  • Highlight pedestrian facilities when introducing new infrastructure.

Helpful Links

Pedestrian Safety Talking Points - This list of pedestrian safety talking points is a useful tool for making presentations to community groups and organizations.

Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety -This is a list of walking safety tips to prevent pedestrian injuries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pedestrian Safety Campaign Planner - This information and these resources (e.g., public service announcements, posters, brochures, press releases, etc.) are from FHWA for planning a pedestrian safety campaign.