Road User Safety

Children in Halloween costumes running on sidewalk


With the start of a new school year, Halloween and shorter daylight hours, autumn is a great time to review traffic safety rules! In Vermont, there tend to be more crashes involving pedestrians as it gets darker earlier, but these crashes are preventable!



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!

Walk to School Day is October 10, 2018! Find more information through your local Safe Routes to School program!

Check out the National Safety Council’s Spooky Truths Regarding Halloween Safety On and Off the Road and NHTSA's Halloween Safety Tips for drivers and trick or treaters. Our suggestion: incorporate reflective tape into your costume! Unscramble these tips and review this recipe to get the conversation started with your loved ones.

Brush up on your Driving at Night knowledge before Daylight Savings on November 4.

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.

In 2016, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,688 lives for occupants age 5 years and older. An estimated 328 lives (child occupants 4 old and younger) were saved using child restraints, and 1,859 lives were saved by the use of motorcycle helmets. The national seat belt use rate is 90.1%. In 2016, another 2,456 lives would have been saved in the US if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts. Vermont's reported observed seat belt use was 80% in 2016, 10% lower than the national average.

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. 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.


Vermont Data Briefs (2014-2016 data)

Vermont BRFSS Data Briefs (2011 data)

  • Physical Activity: "People who consider their own community unsafe for walking are less likely to do enough physical activity than those who consider their community safe for walking (47% vs. 60%)."
  • Seatbelts

National Pedestrian Data (2016 data) 

National Cyclist Data (2016 data)

Vermont Public Crash Data Query Tool