Can Pedestrian Surveys Help to Reduce Road Deaths?

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable groups on the road network, with around 1.2 million people being killed every year around the world. Pedestrian safety is a particular problem in developing countries where car ownership and consequently traffic is increasing faster than the safety laws can keep up, but even in the UK, pedestrians are still at risk. Could a pedestrian survey help to make things safer?

What pedestrians can tell us

Usually, a survey is commissioned for a particular purpose: when road use is changing, for example, or when there have been several serious accidents or even a fatality at a junction or crossing point. At this time, interviewers will talk to pedestrians about the way they use the area, and may also talk to drivers and cyclists to see what improvements can be made. These surveys gather information such as:

Impact of traffic speed
Line of sight
Road width and existing crossing points
Number of pedestrians using route
Key times of day for pedestrian footfall
Whether drivers can see pedestrians approaching or crossing

Using survey results in planning

The more information that planner and traffic highway officers have, the safer they can make the roads for the traffic and pedestrians that use them. That’s why a good survey will be based on in-depth conversations with interested parties, making sure that all the relevant questions are being asked. Pedestrian surveys are often carried out at the location, so it’s important that the survey is easy to understand and quick to complete, allowing people to get on with their journey.

The results can help planners to see if new road layouts would improve safety, or decide which sort of pedestrian crossing would work best in the circumstances. A bigger solution may be called for, such as a bridge over the top of the road or an underpass beneath it. Where new developments are concerned, particularly those that include housing, pedestrian safety and access should be a key feature of the traffic planning and management process.

Pedestrian surveys from Road Data Services

We are experienced pedestrian surveyors and can help you to design and carry out a survey that will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. To start the process, or to find out more, contact us about pedestrian surveys today.

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