Reducing distractions to increase pedestrian safety

Roadway safety is not limited to the person behind the wheel.

Distracted walking while using a cell phone or listening to music with headphones are digital safety concerns that contribute to a growing trend of incidents involving pedestrians.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated more than 181,000 pedestrians were injured in 2018 – ranging from minor scrapes and cuts to life-threatening conditions. A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that pedestrian deaths in 2019 was the highest single-year total in more than three decades.

Street safety – a shared responsibility

To minimize risk:

Drivers should…

Walkers should…

  • Watch for pedestrians at all times
  • Follow speed limits, particularly in school zones and highly populated neighborhoods
  • Obey traffic laws
  • Not use mobile devices while driving
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Look before opening car doors
  • Take extra precautions when driving in poor weather conditions
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use


  • Stop in a safe place to talk on the phone or text
  • Avoid using headphones, or keep volume on low, to hear surrounding sounds
  • Follow traffic rules, including use of crosswalks and cross signals
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing street
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible
  • Wear reflective clothing if you are out walking at night
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use

Protect yourself and those around you

In addition to following traffic laws and safe driving recommendations, it's important to have the right insurance protection should an accident occur. Reach out to your independent insurance agent to be sure you have the right liability limits on your auto insurance, and discuss whether you should add an umbrella policy to your coverage for added peace of mind.


Governors Highway Safety Association

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Safety Council

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC 2020-660