Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

Each year in Utah, 30 pedestrians are hit and killed by a car and another 785 are hospitalized or treated in an emergency department after being in a crash with a motor vehicle (1). According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, the percent of crashes that involved a pedestrian has increased for the 7th year in a row. The year 2012 had the highest number of fatal crashes involving a pedestrian in the last 10 years. More than one-third (37.8%) of the pedestrians involved in a crash were aged 10-24 years (2).

"He was crossing the street when a commercial truck turned left and hit him, hitting his head and chest. He died an hour after the crash. Every day that passes, I miss him more."

Mother of Edwin Cardoso, a 14-year-old pedestrian hit and killed walking to school

Spot the Tot

Younger children are more likely to be hit by a vehicle in driveways (commonly called “backovers”), residential parking areas, and parking lots. From 1997 through 2006, 41 children under the age of 10 were killed by motor vehicles on private property; 93% of the victims were under the age of six. These types of incidents (occurring on private property locations) account for nearly half (49%) of all pedestrian-related deaths for pedestrians under the age of 10 years.

Road Respect -Rules to Live By

The internationally recognized Spot the Tot program was developed by Primary Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Utah in response to these tragedies.

Did you know?

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way at both marked or unmarked crosswalks and a pedestrian can cross the street at any location, unless specifically prohibited. However, if a pedestrian is crossing at a location where a crosswalk does not exist, the pedestrian has the duty to yield to traffic.
  • A “Walk” signal means that a pedestrian has the right-of-way, but pedestrians should still wait and look for vehicles before stepping into the street.
  • Many pedestrians are in crosswalks when they are hit. Many drivers simply don’t look for pedestrians when approaching a crosswalk, especially when preparing to make a turn.
  • The best way to be seen at night is by wearing reflective clothing and by carrying a flashlight.
  • Drivers must yield to any pedestrian in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked). Utah Code (41-6a-1006) states that a motorist must always exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, regardless of the situation.
  • Speeding is the primary cause in 32% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes (3).


  1. Indicator Based Information System for Public Health
  2. 2012 Utah Crash Summary Report
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Pedestrian Safety