Respecting the safety of pedestrians and cyclists

vulnerable road user


Distracted driving can have serious consequences.  While it is clear distractions can easily cause vehicular crashes it is important to be aware of those who are much more vulnerable to a vehicle crash, namely pedestrians and cyclists and others who are considered a VULNERABLE ROAD USER.


  1. Drive with extra caution in town!  If you hit a pedestrian at 20 mph, they will almost definitely live.  The survival rate for a pedestrian hit by a vehicle dramatically decreases with increased speed.   At 30 mph a pedestrian will have a 1 in 5 chance of living.  By the time you reach 40mph, their chance of survival is nearly gone.  These statistics help us to understand why posted speed limits are so low near school zones and residential neighborhoods.


  1. Be prepared on rural roads.  These roads should never be used as an excuse to speed because there are fewer cars on the road.  Often rural roads have multiple uses.  Cyclists and residents use these roads for their daily activities and may be difficult to spot.  For that reason, it is important to never go over the speed limit.  Remember, you are not required to drive at the top of the posted speed limit.  Slowing down when approaching more populated areas or when visibility is limited can lower the risks of an incident considerably.


  1. Watch out when maneuvering.  Many vulnerable roadway users are injured because a driver did not see them.  Before turning, you should carefully check your mirrors and blind spots.  Double-check for cyclists and motorcycles before changing lanes to make sure one has not suddenly appeared.  If you must reverse. Make sure to do so slowly while keeping a good eye on your mirrors.  It is especially vital to double-check all movements at night or when visibility is limited due to weather.


At NHSA, our goal is to provide online driver education courses that equip all drivers with what they need to be safe drivers.  Whether you are a teen seeking a learner’s permit, or an adult driver seeking a basic driver safety course, check us out online to see what courses are available in your state!

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