Do your Part to Save Lives this Season

National Road Safety Week
May 12 - 18, 2009

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are generally classified as vulnerable road users. They are at greater risk of potential injury or death should they become involved in a collision on Canada’s roadways. Vulnerable road users make up 24 per cent of road users killed or seriously injured each year in traffic crashes. In 2006, 665 vulnerable road users were killed and 3,667 were seriously injured.

May 12th – 18th is National Road Safety Week. Canada Safety Council encourages you to take precautions while on the road this summer. Whether you are considered a vulnerable road user, or share the road with them, be vigilant and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

During the spring and summer months, the prevalence of vulnerable roads users is higher than at any other time of year. Drivers must be aware of pedestrians crossing at intersections, people coming out between parked cars, especially small children.  Drivers must share the road with cyclists and motorcyclists, as increased traffic flow to the cottage and busy vacation areas becomes part of summer activities.

Intersections provide the most problems for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. In 2006, almost 40 per cent of all collisions at intersections involving vulnerable road users were fatal. While 50 per cent of pedestrians, 64 per cent of cyclists, and 45 per cent of motorcyclists were seriously injured at intersections.

The majority of collisions involving vulnerable road users occurred in urban areas with posted speed limits of 70 km/h or less. Almost 70 per cent of pedestrians were killed and more than 90 per cent were seriously injured. Seventy-two per cent of cyclists and 62 per cent of motorcyclists, who suffered serious injuries in crashes in urban areas, were struck at urban intersections.

Serious injuries at intersections involving vulnerable road users.

  Pedestrians Cyclists Motorcyclists
All intersections injuries (rural and urban) 50% 64% 45%
Intersections injuries in urban areas with posted speed limits of 70 km/h or less 90% 72% 62%

All road users must do their part to save lives and reduce injuries this summer. Motorists and vulnerable road users must walk, ride, cycle and drive more defensively in order to make road travel safer for everyone. See Tip Sheet for more information on what you, as a motorist and/or vulnerable road user, can do to make Canadian roads safer for all.

The Canada Safety Council and DriveWise, a cooperating agency of the CSC, will be holding a joint press conference in Mississauga on May 14th, as part of National Road Safety Week.

Tips to Make Road Use Safer for Pedestrians, Motorcyclists and Cyclists

Pedestrians should:

  • Obey the rules of the road: cross at intersections or in pedestrian safety zones.
  • Be vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, especially in urban areas.
  • Never run into the roadway from behind stopped or parked vehicles.
  • Walk against traffic along roadsides without sidewalks or on rural roadways.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking, especially at night.
  • Never assume that motorists will yield, even if you have the right-of-way.

Motorcyclists should:

  • Never drink and ride.
  • Be vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, on both urban and rural roadways.
  • Always obey posted speed limits.
  • Always wear an approved safety helmet and protective clothing.

Cyclists should:

  • Always wear an approved cycling helmet.
  • Always obey the rules of the road.
  • Use a light (front and back) at night.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing when riding, especially at night.
  • Be vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, especially in urban areas.
  • Never assume that motorists will yield, even if you have the right-of-way.

Motorists should:

  • Always be on the lookout for and yield to vulnerable road users, even if they don’t have the right-of-way.
  • Always obey traffic signals and control signs.
  • Pay particular attention to younger children playing on streets and to senior citizens crossing at intersections.
  • Pay particular attention to workers in temporary work zones.
  • Be prepared for vulnerable road users to appear unexpectedly at both intersection and non-intersection locations, on both urban and rural roadways.

Source: Transport Canada

For more information, please contact:

Raynald Marchand
General Manger – Programs
(613) 739-1535 (ext. 226)