Pedestrian safety

Road-wise pedestrians are safe pedestrians. Find out how to put your best foot forward and stay safe on Irish roads

Better safety, step-by-step

In 2008, 49 pedestrians were killed and 1,124 injured on Ireland’s roads. That's 18% of all fatalities and 12% of all casualties from road collisions in the country.

The basics

Although you can’t be responsible for the way people drive, you can take a number of steps to make yourself safer as a pedestrian:

  • Stop, look and listen
  • Don’t try to cross the road between parked cars
  • If possible, cross at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights
  • Never cross at a bend
  • If there is a footpath use it
  • If there is no footpath, walk/run/jog on the right hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic and keeping as close as possible to the side of the road
  • Walk no more than two abreast and if the road is narrow or there is heavy traffic, walk in single file

Increase your visibility

More than two-thirds of fatal pedestrian collisions happen at night. Although you can hear a car coming and see its lights, the driver may not see you (and certainly won’t hear you).

To protect yourself make sure you:

  • Always wear a pair of reflective armbands, high-visibility belt or other reflective or fluorescent clothing which will help you to be seen from a distance
  • Carry a torch on country roads

Sobering facts

Drunken pedestrians are a source of danger to themselves and other road users. If you have had one too many, don’t attempt to walk – hail a taxi, use public transport or get a lift from a (non-drinking) friend.

Pubs and clubs also have a responsibility to prevent intoxicated customers walking out on public roads where they could be hit by passing vehicles, or cause a crash through their own behaviour. To prevent this happening, bar staff or anyone serving alcohol should decide if the person is fit to walk. If not, they should arrange to get them home safely.