Pedestrian and bicycle safety

Learn more about safety on the roadways for non-motorists

Pedestrian safety

In 2015, pedestrian fatalities in Massachusetts increased 8% to 80 from 74 in 2014. Males accounted for 65% of all pedestrian fatalities in 2015. By age, those over 55 years of age or older represented more than 50% of the fatalities during 2015. Pedestrian fatalities tend to occur more often during evening hours (6pm - midnight) and highest over the last quarter of the calendar year (October - December). 

A variety of risk factors exist for pedestrians. Lack of sidewalks, traffic lights, and poor lighting can be factors in pedestrian injuries and fatalities involved 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. Almost a third of pedestrian fatalities over the past five years have been due to pedestrians being in the road at non-crosswalk or traffic light locations. 

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. 

Additional Resources

Bicycle safety

In 2015, there were 9 bicyclist fatalities in the Commonwealth. From 2011-2105, there were 44 bicyclist fatalities across 32 different communities. Boston was the location for 8 of the 44 fatalities (18%). By gender, males accounted for 80% of the fatalities and of those 35 male deaths, no helmet use was found in 14 cases. For females, 4 of the 9 reported bicycle fatalities had no helmet. 

From 2011-2015, the 45-64 age range accounted for 16 of the 44 reported fatalities (36%). Overall, bicyclists 21 years of age or older represented 39 of the 44 fatalities. 

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. 

Additional Resources

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