Pedestrian and bicycle safety

Here you'll be able to learn more about safety on the roadways for non-motorists.

Pedestrian safety

In 2017, there were 72 reported pedestrian fatalities across Massachusetts. This is down 8% from the 78 pedestrian deaths in 2016. Males accounted for 55% of pedestrian fatalities, while pedestrians age 50 or older represented more than half the fatalities reported in 2017.

Research has found that motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrian fatalities occur more often between the hours of 3pm and midnight. From 2013-2017, nearly 60% of pedestrian deaths took place during this time frame. In terms of time of year, the period from October through December consistently sees the highest fatalities. Well over a third of all pedestrian fatalities from 2013-2017 took place over these three months. 

A variety of risk factors exist for pedestrians. Lack of sidewalks or crosswalks, traffic lights, and poor lighting can be factors in pedestrian injuries and fatalities involving motor vehicles. At the same time, pedestrians can reduce risks by utilizing crosswalks as much possible and refrain from walking on the shoulder of roads during non-daylight hours or darting out across the road at night when visibility is poorer for drivers. If walking at night, pedestrians should refrain from wearing dark clothes so drivers can easily see them. Data has found 16% of pedestrian fatalities from 2013-2017 to be attributed to pedestrians wearing dark clothing. 

To improve pedestrian safety, EOPSS/OGR/HSD supports local police departments by providing resources for enforcing laws the keep pedestrians safe; works with other state agencies and organizations seeking to create safe travel conditions; and launches public awareness campaigns through offline and online media. 

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Bicycle safety

In 2017, there were 11 bicyclist fatalities in the Commonwealth. This is up slightly from the 10 fatalities reported in 2016. 

Research regarding bicyclist deaths from 2013-2017 shows that bicyclist fatalities occurring nearly 70% of the time between the hours of 12pm and 9pm. Males are disproportionately represented with over 80% of all bicyclist fatalities. By age, bicyclists over 50 years of age or older accounted for 53% of bicyclists deaths from 2013-2017. Those under 16 years of age were responsible for 12% of all bicyclist fatalities in the same period. 

Surprisingly, of the 11 bicyclists fatalities found not using a helmet at the time of crash from 2013-2017, over half were age 50 or older. 

To improve bicycle safety, EOPSS/OGR/HSD supports local police departments by providing resources for enforcing laws the keep bicyclists safe; works with other state agencies and organizations seeking to create safe travel conditions; and launches public awareness campaigns through offline and online media. 

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