Although walking is great for your health and the environment - and especially practical for old people and children - pedestrians are much more vulnerable to accidents than other road users.
Traffic rules for pedestrians
It may sound obvious but you should only walk on the road if you have no choice - if there are no pavements or verges.
If you do have to, keep to the edge, walk in single file and against the direction of traffic.
Some 21% of all traffic fatalities in the EU are pedestrians. The largest share of these are 65 or over.
Cutting the number of deaths
The amount of crashes involving pedestrians can be reduced by:
- area-wide speed limits
- uninterrupted footpaths
- proper street lighting
- wearing reflective gear
- crash-friendly car fronts (to minimise injuries).
EU-funded projects to protect pedestrians
The Watch-over system of short-range sensors detects when a car is about to hit a pedestrian, enabling the driver to swerve or brake.
Projects such as APROSYS have studied how changing the shape of the front of a vehicle can reduce harm to pedestrians.
- Pedestrians and cyclists
- Pedestrians and cyclists - unprotected road users
- Crash characteristics - where and how?
- Measures to reduce crash numbers and injury severity
- Promoting cycling
- Traffic rules for pedestrians
- Factsheet on pedestrians
- Child safety in Europe
- EU regulation 78/2009 – vehicle approval / protection of vulnerable road users
- EU regulation 631/2009 – implementing vehicle approval to protect vulnerable road users
- Projects on improving vehicle design: