“Walk Smart, Arrive Alive” – Del. Pedestrian Safety Campaign Underway


“Walk Smart, Arrive Alive” is Delaware’s pedestrian safety message through the end of January.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is driving home the message through a variety of methods to discourage risky pedestrian activities and encourage safer walking habits.

Delaware Office of Highway Safety video message

Especially during winter as more motorists are driving in the dark, OHS recommends that pedestrians make themselves stand out by wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight. Also, use crosswalks where available and look all around for traffic.

“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,” Delaware Office of Highway Safety Director Kimberly Chesser said. “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 provided these statistics and safety tips for pedestrians and motorists:

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/.