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Pedestrian and Bicyclists safety

Learn more about safety on the roadways for non-motorists.

Pedestrian safety

In 2018, there were 78 reported pedestrian fatalities across Massachusetts. Males accounted for 59% of pedestrian fatalities, while pedestrians age 55 or older represented more than half the fatalities reported in 2018.

Research has found that motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrian fatalities occur more often between the hours of 3pm and midnight. From 2014-2018, 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. Nearly 40% of all pedestrian fatalities from 2014-2018 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. 

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 2018, there were 4 bicyclist fatalities in the Commonwealth, down from the 12 bicyclist deaths in 2017. 

Research regarding bicyclist deaths from 2014-2018 shows that over half of all bicyclist fatalities occurred between the hours of 12pm and 6pm. Males are disproportionately represented with 85% of all bicyclist fatalities. By age, bicyclists over 55 years of age or older accounted for 40% of bicyclists deaths from 2014-2018. Those under 21 years of age were responsible for 17% of all bicyclist fatalities in the same period. Friday was the worst day for bicyclist fatalities with 12 of 46 deaths (26%) reported from 2014-2018.

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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