In May 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hosted a forum intended to begin a public conversation about pedestrian safety. After the forum, the NTSB began investigating a series of 15 fatal crashes in which vehicles on public highways killed pedestrians. In 2016, during the project design phase, the set of 15 investigative cases represented the average number of pedestrian fatalities every day. By the time the project was complete, the average had increased to 16 a day.
This special investigation report discusses the public forum and previous NTSB investigations related to pedestrian safety, including the 15 fatal pedestrian crashes, and makes recommendations to improve pedestrian safety. Special investigation reports combine the work of a similar set of cases to address a particular safety issue. This report and the related public forum represent the NTSB’s first full consideration of pedestrian safety since the 1970s.
The report uses an organizing framework of vehicle-based changes, infrastructure improvements, and data needs for improving pedestrian safety. Given that the poor visibility of people walking in and around moving vehicles is a serious problem, the report considers improvements to vehicle lighting systems that are being developed but are not yet in place. The report also considers other vehicle safety systems that can improve pedestrian safety and recognizes the needs of local transportation planning work to improve pedestrian safety. Several recommendations target data needs to better guide the implementation of countermeasures and to gauge the effectiveness of programmatic efforts. The report focuses on issues common to all pedestrians without separating out subgroups of risk or specific countermeasures for only certain types of events. The report makes recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pedestrian Special Investigation Interactive Website:
An interactive website summarizing the 15 field investigations and
the supplemental data to accompany the special investigation report.
Pedestrian Safety: An NTSB Special Investigation Report, Member T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, NTSB Safety Compass, September 24, 2018
9/25/2018 - Board Meeting
5/10/2016 - Forum: Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian Field Investigation Reports:
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Car Riverdale Park, Maryland, April 24, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Pickup Truck Falls Church, Virginia, June 4, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle Upper Marlboro, Maryland, June 24, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Car Capitol Heights, Maryland, July 20, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle Falls Church, Virginia, May 18, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle Alexandria, Virginia, August 30, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with School Bus New York City, New York, October 14, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Transit Bus New York City, New York, October 21, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Car Washington, DC, October 2, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle Town of Geneva, Wisconsin, August 16, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Transit Bus New York City, New York, October 4, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle Old Saybrook, Connecticut, August 16, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Car Washington, DC, August 18, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Pickup Truck Lewiston, Maine, November 3, 2016
Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Minivan Thief River Falls, Minnesota, October 6, 2016