Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety

Bicyclist

Walking and biking are healthy, environmentally friendly transportation options. More people are walking and biking to work, cities are implementing bike share programs, and transportation planners are taking pedestrians and bicyclists into account.

GHSA Policy

Click here to view GHSA's policy and priorities on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety.

Unfortunately, pedestrians and cyclists are at an inherent disadvantage when involved in traffic crashes: when a faster moving vehicle meets a pedestrian or a bicycle, the vehicle always wins.

In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, 16% of all traffic fatalities. This is a 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2015. 1

GHSA's latest Spotlight on Highway Safety Report on pedestrian fatalities anticipated this sharp spike.

Each year about 2 percent of fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes are bicyclists. In 2016, 840 cyclists were killed.1

GHSA recognizes the importance of bicyclist and pedestrian safety, and its member State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) administer programs focused on improving safety for people who ride bikes and walk.

A Right to the Road: Understanding and Addressing Bicyclist Safety

In 2017, GHSA released A Right to the Road: Understanding and Addressing Bicyclist Safety. Published through funding from State Farm®, this report analyzes national data to understand fatal bicyclist-motor vehicle crash characteristics, offering 30 actions steps to help State Highway Safety Offices and local communities assess and improve their current bicyclist safety programs.

Everyone Walks. Understanding and Addressing Pedestrian Safety

In 2015, GHSA released Everyone Walks. Understanding and Addressing Pedestrian Safety. The report, made possible through funding from State Farm®, provides an overview of current pedestrian safety data and research and details how states are using this and other information to address pedestrian safety through education, enforcement and legislative initiatives.

1 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, October). 2016 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 456). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812456

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Laws

GHSA does not track state pedestrian safety laws but does track bicycle helmet laws in states where they have been enacted.

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