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January 13, 2022

Delaware Office of Highway Safety

Campaign leverages grassroots influence and broad communications to eliminate pedestrian fatalities.

DOVER, Del. (Jan 13, 2022) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s (OHS) “Walk Smart, Arrive Alive” campaign runs from January 16-30, 2022 statewide — expanding its reach and impact on some of the most at-risk pedestrian populations in the state. This communications campaign aims to discourage risky pedestrian activities and encourage the adoption of safer walking habits that can prevent injuries and potentially save lives.

“As pedestrian traffic increases and more motorists are on the road during the dark hours of the winter, everyone has a responsibility to watch out for each other,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “Pedestrians face greater risk of harm when they are not paying attention to street signs, walking at night without a flashlight or walking while impaired. Our goal is to get our message in front of pedestrians AND drivers — in the places where they work, live, and play — to eliminate the dangerous behaviors that impact pedestrian safety.”

OHS is excited to continue the DART Wi-Fi sponsorship, “Walk Smart, Arrive Alive” which includes statewide advertisements at key DART Transit stops, focused on bringing awareness of the dangerous walking habits that put pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists at risk of crashes.

The campaign will also target pedestrians with digital ads, paid and organic social media, public relations, and grassroots outreach.

Our street teams will make appearances in Rodney Square throughout the remainder of the month, distributing reflective items to motivate pedestrians to “Walk Bright” and stress the importance of making yourself more visible to motorists at night.

See new “Walk Bright” campaign video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bCvlTNkFw4&t=30s

Delaware Statistics: Pedestrian Crashes

Data continues to show that New Castle County has a disproportionately higher number of pedestrian crashes. Kent and Sussex’s counties are roughly equal in the number of pedestrian crashes year-round, however, Sussex County tends to see an uptick during the summer months due to more residents and visitors heading to beach communities.

Pedestrian crashes peak around the evening rush hour, with the period of 5:00-7:00 p.m. having the greatest number of crashes. The period from 7:00-9:00 p.m. has the second-highest pedestrian crash rate.

The most common factors contributing to pedestrian crashes involve individuals being under the influence, crossing outside of crosswalks, and wearing dark-colored clothing—in 2021 in Delaware, walking in unlit or dark conditions was a contributing factor in 80 % of pedestrian crashes.

Additional statistics for the state include:

• In 2021, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 21% of overall traffic fatalities.
• County Breakdown of pedestrian fatalities since 2017

  • New Castle – 83 (58%)
  • Kent – 23 (16%)
  • Sussex – 36 (25%)

• In 2021, individuals aged 35-44 (34%) were the largest age group of pedestrian fatalities.
• Since 2017, 46% of pedestrian fatalities involved impairment.
• Since 2017, 86% of pedestrian fatalities occurred on roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or higher.
• Since 2017, 75% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dusk/dark lighting conditions.
• Since 2017, of those reported, 91% of pedestrians involved in fatalities were not wearing any type of reflective clothing.

Tips for Increasing Pedestrian Safety

OHS offers the following guidelines while walking along Delaware’s roadways:

• Be visible. When walking at night, carry a flashlight, avoid wearing dark clothing, wear reflective items.
• Avoid distractions. Turn off handheld devices when crossing the street.
• Cross lawfully. Cross only at crosswalks or intersections with signals or traffic signs.
• Be predictable. Follow the rules and obey signs and signals.
• Look carefully. Watch for cars coming from all directions.
• Use sidewalks. If there isn’t one, walk facing traffic, as far from traffic as possible.
• Be patient. Wait for cars to stop before stepping into a crosswalk.
• Be sober. Do not walk under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Never assume. Make sure drivers see you by making eye contact before walking.

OHS offers the following guidelines while driving along Delaware’s roadways:

• Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
• Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
• Avoid distractions. Do not use handheld devices.
• Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
• Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
• Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
• Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.

Key Enforcement Locations

OHS will fund pedestrian safety enforcement and education during the January 16-30, 2022, statewide. An emphasis will be placed on these locations:
• Newark
• Wilmington
• US-13/40 corridor
• Limestone Road (DE-7)
• Kirkwood Highway (DE-2)
• Concord Pike (US202)
• Philadelphia Pike (Business-13)
• Milford
• Elsmere

For more information on the campaign, statistics, and education on pedestrian safety, visit https://www.arrivealivede.com/Walk-Smart/.



DE OHS logoAbout the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety on ArriveAliveDE.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.