Road User Safety

three people on walking path, including a child, man in a wheelchair and woman, holding hands

In Vermont, there tend to be more crashes involving pedestrians as it gets darker earlier, but these crashes are preventable!

Now is a good time to brush up on your Driving at Night knowledge. If you plan to walk in the evening or night, it is a good idea to pack reflective gear or a flashlight to help people driving spot you on dark country roads where there are often narrow shoulders. 

Review and share this Parking Lot Safety poster with data and tips for people walking and driving. In Vermont, crashes in parking lots account for almost one in five of all pedestrian-involved crashes.

It's not too late to join in on the benefits of active transportation this school year! Find more information through your local Safe Routes to School and Way to Go! programs! Review this Back to School Safety Checklist with your family—even if you don’t have any school-aged children there is helpful information for people who drive. Remember to slow down and share the road!

 

Join us for the 2019 Safe Routes to School, Safe Routes For All Annual Gathering on April 11 at the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre. This meeting is intended to gather community members working to promote the safety of vulnerable road users (people walking, biking and using other human-powered means of transportation) in our communities. Please RSVP to attend.

NEW DATA BRIEF Feelings of Community Safety for Walking

 

 

Background Information

Injuries, including motor vehicle crashes, are a top contributor to preventable deaths each year nationwide and in Vermont. Vermont’s age-adjusted injury rate is higher than the national average in recent Vermont Vital Statistics data for 2013 and 2014. In Vermont, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death from injury-related causes, after falls.

Pedestrian and Bicycle

  • 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the US in 2016, representing 16% of all traffic fatalities. This is an increase of 9% from pedestrian fatalities in 2015.
  • From 2012-2016 there were 29 pedestrian fatalities in Vermont.
  • In 2016, Vermont had a rate of 2.41 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population, which is the 11th highest in the nation.
  • Vermont is one of seven states where over 10% of our pedestrian fatalities involve children ages 15 and younger (2014-2016).
  • Vermont is one of eleven states where over 20% of our pedestrian fatalities involve adults ages 70 and older (2014-2016). 
  • From 2012-2016, there were 5 cyclist fatalities in Vermont.
  • Not all injuries result in death, and from 2010-2014, an average of 193 pedestrians and an average of 72 bicyclists were hospitalized or visited Vermont emergency departments each year as the result of being struck by a motor vehicle. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data from 2014-2016 showed that 302 injuries to Vermont resident pedestrians and 505 injuries to Vermont resident cyclists resulted in an EMS call.

Active transportation, such as walking and biking, and public transportation can improve health through increased physical activity levels and reduced environmental impacts. Communities designed for the safety of vulnerable road users, especially people walking, biking, and using public transport, will be safer for all users.

Data

Vermont Data Briefs (2014-2016 data)

Vermont BRFSS Data Briefs

National Pedestrian Data (2016 data) 

National Cyclist Data (2016 data)

Vermont Public Crash Data Query Tool

National Transportation Safety Board's Pedestrian Safety Special Investigative Report

What can I do to make my community a safer place to walk?

Learn and obey the laws that apply to driving, walking and biking, and teach them to children.

Attend community events and meetings to voice your opinion on how to improve walking infrastructure and pedestrian safety.

Discuss pedestrian safety issues with neighbors, law enforcement officers, political candidates and elected officials.

Build awareness and support for safe driving speeds within your community.

Help organize a block party, safety campaign, walk audit or a pop-up event to raise awareness of safety issues on our roads and promote action. 

Sign up for newsletters from walkability advocates to stay up to date on national or local issues surrounding walking and mobility.

Report issues with sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, bus stops or other walking infrastructure. Not sure who to contact? Check out some options below!

 

Who Can Help?

Public Works Departments

Regional Planning Contacts

VTrans District Contacts (for state-controlled routes)

SeeClickFix (available in limited areas)

Safe Routes to School and Way to Go! Regional Experts

Local Motion Community Sign Up and Suggestion Box

*Remember to contact your local police department first in an emergency*

 

Check the Vermont Public Crash Data Query Tool to assess road safety in your community

 

AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit 

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking

Neighborhood Wayfinding Assessment

Safe Kids Worldwide Take Action Toolkit: How to Fix an Unsafe School Zone

Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)

Toolkit for the Assessment of Bus Stop Accessibility and Safety

Traffic Operations FAQ (includes questions like 'How do I get a crosswalk?' and 'How are speed limits set?')

Vermont Programs and Grants

AARP Community Action Grants

Better Connections Program

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Municipal Planning Grant Program

Vermont Governor's Highway Safety Program

Vermont Highway Safety Alliance

Vermont Safe Routes to School Program

 

Current funding opportunities:

The Go! Vermont Local Community Assistance Program offers $500 grants to volunteer groups to promote, enhance and enable efficient transportation in their communities.
 
 
AARP Community Challenge livability grants (national) fund 'quick action' projects that improve communities for residents. The grant application period ends April 17. 
 
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development's 2019 Downtown Transportation Fund Grant supports transportation-related improvements to desginated downtowns. The grant application period ends March 11.