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A third of road fatalities involve someone who failed to look properly

Road safety for pedestrians

Road safety facts

Warning icon
  • In Nottinghamshire, there were 337 pedestrians killed or seriously injured between 2008-12.
  • In the UK, 31 pedestrians aged 0-15 were killed or seriously injured every week in 2010.
 

Pedestrians, and particularly child pedestrians, are the most vulnerable of all road users. 

Adults

Years of experience mean that adults are generally considerably safer on the roads than children. But adult pedestrians should still bear in mind that they need to minimise the risks facing all pedestrians.


Follow the advice below to keep yourself safe:

  • If you have a child with you, make sure that you set a good example - point out hazards and, if the child is young, hold their hand at all times
  • Use Zebra, Pelican, Puffin or Toucan crossings if possible, even if it means walking a bit further
  • Use traffic islands where available, making sure that you stop on the island and look again for traffic before continuing to cross
  • Avoid using your mobile phone or headphones when crossing - watch our video about the dangers of using mobiles when crossing the road
  • Where possible, avoid crossing between parked cars, as drivers will be unable to see you
  • If you are unable to avoid crossing between parked cars, position yourself level with the offside of the parked vehicles allowing yourself a good view of the traffic. Use the parked vehicles to protect you from moving vehicles. See the photos below.
  • As you cross, make sure you keep looking both ways
  • If you wear glasses or a hearing aid, always use them when you're out walking
  • Try to make sure you always wear or carry something white or bright, particularly on dull or misty days, so that you can be easily seen. Fluorescent colours are best during the day, but won't be seen in the dark, so at night you need something reflective.

Detailed guidance can be found in the highway code at: www.direct.gov.uk

Crossing between parked cars

If you are unable to avoid crossing between parked cars, position yourself level with the offside of the parked vehicles allowing yourself a good view of the traffic. Use the parked vehicles to protect you from moving vehicles.

The correct way to cross the road between parked cars is shown below:

Crossing the road - correct
Right
Crossing the road - wrong
Wrong

Children

Teaching children to use the roads safely is an important part of minimising the risk of accidents.

It’s vital that parents and other carers are aware of the risks posed to children on our roads, and help them to learn road safety skills. Setting a good example, pointing out possible hazards, and encouraging children to think about their actions while out and about are all important contributions to the road safety education of young people.

Your child’s best road safety teacher is you

This is because basic road safety can only be taught in the street. Your child is out and about with you and it’s your example he or she follows, good or bad.

Please don't wait for the school to teach road safety. It’s your responsibility as a parent to give your child the basic skills. See the useful resources below for help.

Useful resources

The 'Think! Education' website has useful information about the laws affecting pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and drivers. There are also some interesting statistics on who is most likely to be involved in a collision and when: www.dft.gov.uk/think/education/secondary/students/its-a-fact/

The Directgov website gives useful advice on how to teach your child vital road safety skills: www.direct.gov.uk/

The Highway Code: www.direct.gov.uk
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