Road User Safety

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

NEW DATA BRIEF Feelings of Community Safety for Walking

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! to School programs! Review this Back to School Safety Checklist with your family—even if you don’t have school-aged children there is helpful information for people who drive. Remember to slow down and share the road!

Summer is a great time for getting outside and enjoying activities like biking, skateboarding and baseball. Each of these activities are best with a helmet! Learn more about getting the right helmet for the task.

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.

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.
  • 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

Vermont adults who do not feel safe while walking are less likely to meet physical activity guidelines
  • 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%)." (2011 data)
  • Seatbelts (2011 data)

National Pedestrian Data (2017 data) 

National Cyclist Data (2017 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?

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

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*


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.
Local Food, Local Places planning assistance from the EPA. Applications due September 30.