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

Some general pedestrian safety messages can be found in Walking Safely. 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.
Walking 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.