Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users

6 July 2021
Department of Transport and Public Works

Pedestrians are considered to be the most vulnerable road users. Road crash fatality data reveals that pedestrians account for between 35% and 40% of all road deaths in South Africa.

Department of Transport and Public Works' Road Safety Management team aims to reduce road deaths, especially among vulnerable road users, through education and awareness programmes that encourage safe behaviour.

Pedestrians are more likely to sustain serious injuries or die in a collision because, unlike people in a vehicle, there is nothing between them and the impact of the crash. Child pedestrians are particularly vulnerable because they are shorter than adults. This means they are more likely to be hit in the head and chest.

Basic road safety tips for pedestrians

  • Avoid walking in the road. Always walk on the sidewalk.
  • Only cross when the pedestrian light is green for you.
  • Only cross the road at a pedestrian crossing if possible.
  • Look right, look left, and look right again before crossing a road.
  • Avoid using a cellphone when you walk near a road. It will distract you, and distraction can cost you your life.
  • Avoid using headphones or earphones when you walk so that you can hear oncoming vehicles.
  • Avoid walking near roads when you have been drinking. Even small amounts of alcohol can put you in danger.
  • Wear bright colours or reflective clothing when you walk at night so that other road users can see you.