Educating Drivers

Roadway safety is a shared responsibility, and motorists have their fair share of things to do to help keep pedestrians safe and comply with the rules of the road.

Key Messages for Drivers

A neighborhood sign asks drivers to keep their speed to 25 mph.Some general driver safety messages can be found in Safety Tips for Pedestrians. Others include:

  • You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere — even in places where they are not supposed to be found.
  • Pedestrians can be very hard to see — especially in bad weather or at night. Keep a lookout and slow down if you can't see clearly.
  • In most states, every intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether marked or not. Many drivers do not realize this. When you stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, stop two cars back so that drivers in the other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop.
  • Cars stopped in the street may be stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. Do not pass a car stopped in one lane until you are sure it is not waiting for a pedestrian to cross.
  • Don't assume that pedestrians see you or that they will act predictably. They may be physically or mentally impaired, or intoxicated.
  • When you are turning, you may have to wait for a "gap" in traffic. Be aware that while you are watching for that "gap," pedestrians may have moved into your intended path. Double-check before you turn.
  • Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are active. Drive like you would want people to drive in front of your own home.

Strategies for Educating Drivers

  • Plug into local media — have driver safety awareness campaigns on TV and in newspapers, host a commute-time radio talk series on pedestrian safety issues, or develop an ad campaign to be displayed on billboards, in parking garages, or in other places most visible to drivers.
  • Most walkers are drivers, too. Place and distribute driver safety material alongside pedestrian safety material.
  • Couple education with Enforcement to reinforce driver knowledge of and compliance with pedestrian-related laws.

Helpful Links

Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety, Inc. - These Pedestrian Issue Links are provided by PEDS (Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety, Inc.).