Fall Pedestrian Safety

Students, some with and without umbrellas, cross at crosswalk with crossing guard on a raining morning at Sycamore Elementary

Fall is an important time of year for more pedestrian safety awareness and extra pedestrian safety measures with Pedestrian Safety Month, Halloween, and Daylight Savings Time all happening this time of year.

National Pedestrian Safety Month

Every October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. During National Pedestrian Safety Month, we can all do our part to educate the public and raise awareness about the ongoing issue of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on our roadways.

Why October? Over the last five years, more pedestrians have been killed in October than any other month.

  • In 2022, 86% of pedestrians involved in a crash were injured (1,566) or killed (173) in Michigan.
  • Of the 173 pedestrians killed, 121 were male, 52 female.
  • From 2020 to 2022, there were 531 pedestrian fatalities on Michigan roads.
  • Nearly 25% of pedestrian fatalities in 2022 were the result of a pedestrian not using an intersection to cross the street where a driver failed to yield.

To help keep everyone safe, share the following driver and pedestrian safety tips from the  Michigan Office of Highway SAfety Planning (OHSP):

Pedestrians must:
  • Use sidewalks whenever available.
  • Always cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals, and crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Face traffic and stay as far to the left as possible if traveling on the roadway.
Pedestrians should:
  • Always stop at the edge of a parked car, curb, or vehicle before walking out into traffic.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street and continue looking while crossing.
  • Make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing roadways.
  • Be visible: wear reflective clothing and lights at night and wear bright colors during the day.
  • Never allow children under the age of 10 to cross the streets alone. Young children do not have the skills to accurately judge traffic risks.
Drivers must:
  • Stop before entering the marked crosswalk limit line.
  • Stop before entering the intersection if there is no crosswalk or limit line.
  • Obey traffic signals, signs, and markings.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, intersections, and all traffic-controlled areas.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.
Drivers should:
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing who cannot be seen.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.
  • Make eye contact with pedestrians waiting to cross roadways.
  • Be extremely careful when backing up, checking for pedestrians who may move into the path of the vehicle.

To keep all roadway users safe, the OHSP oversees the distribution and use of federal grant funding to its traffic safety partners with the goal of influencing driver behavior and reducing Michigan roadway crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Tap to learn more about OHSP.

Pedestrians must:
  • Pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks. Michigan crash data shows that nearly 25 percent of fatalities in 2022 were the result of pedestrians not crossing at intersections.
  • Wear reflective clothing, especially from dusk to dawn. In 2022, the 7-8 p.m. time period had the highest number of pedestrian-involved crashes.
  • Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, intersections and all traffic-controlled areas. The best practice for drivers is to always yield to pedestrians.

To keep all roadway users safe, the OHSP oversees the distribution and use of federal grant funding to its traffic safety partners with the goal of influencing driver behavior and reducing Michigan roadway crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Tap to learn more about OHSP.

Additional Resources:

Halloween Safety and Daylight Savings Safety

Halloween and Daylight Saving Time offer two dates on the calendar to promote National Pedestrian Safety Month to help make October safer for you and yours.

Halloween Safety Tips
  • Make sure costumes fit properly. Trim or shorten any costumes that could cause someone to trip.
  • Avoid masks that restrict respiration and peripheral vision.
  • Keep your pet indoors and away from costumed people as Halloween costumes and festivities can be a frightful experience for pets. Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website for tips about how to make Halloween safer for your pets.
  • Be visible: add reflective tape to all costumes and consider carrying a flashlight or brightly colored bag when trick or treating.
  • Follow safe traffic practices: accompany your children to each house, ensure they cross at corners and crosswalks, do not walk in the street, or trick or treat alone.
  • Older children should have a planned route: Make a plan with older children follow a planned a route, that others in their group know the route, and they follow all the protocols above.
  • Keep your house safe for trick or treaters: Make sure the path to your doorway is well-lit, absent of trip hazards, such as cracked concrete or exposed tree roots, and keep your pets inside your house.
  • Choose battery operated or LED lights over flammable decorations.

We hope these tips help you have a fantastic time appreciating your community of goblins, ghosts, and other festive costumes.

Daylight Savings Safety

As the clocks “fall back” to standard time on Sunday, November 5, use the following tips for drivers regarding pedestrians traveling on foot or rolling on a bicycle, wheelchair, skateboard, or other device.

Research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute confirms that pedestrians are more at risk of serious injury from a motor vehicle crash in the weeks following a return to standard time. The most dangerous time for drivers and pedestrians takes place in the first hour of darkness. To ensure visibility, pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists are encouraged to wear brighter-colored clothing with reflective material. 

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