Pedestrian, cyclist deaths increase 37 percent in 2022

The D.C. area Street Smart campaign says pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the region increased 37 percent in 2022 compared to the year before.

"This dramatic spike in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities is deeply concerning," said COG Board Chair and Montgomery County Councilmember Kate Stewart. "These are members of our community, and their deaths were preventable. Making our roads safer requires all of us—government, law enforcement, and the public—to increase our collective efforts."

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the most common factors contributing to pedestrian and bicyclist crashes and deaths are speed, distractions, and alcohol.

The Street Smart’s spring campaign runs until May 14.

Street Smart Safety Tips

If you’re driving:

• Slow down and obey the speed limit.

• Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.

• Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.

• When turning, yield to people walking and biking.

• Look for bicyclists before opening your door.

• Allow at least 3 feet when passing bikes.

• Avoid using your cell phone and never text while driving.

• Be especially careful if you drive an SUV or pickup truck—crashes involving high profile vehicles more often result in the death or serious injury of people walking and biking.

If you’re walking:

• Cross the street at the corner and use marked crosswalks when they’re available.

• Use the pushbuttons.

• Wait for the walk signal to cross the street.

• Watch for turning vehicles.

• Before crossing, look left, right, and left again.

• Be visible. Wear something light or reflective after dark.

• Watch out for blind spots around trucks and buses.

• Avoid using your cell phone while you’re crossing the street.

• On an off-street trail, obey all posted signage and approach intersections with caution.

If you’re biking:

• Obey signs and signals.

• Never ride against traffic.

• Ride in a straight line at least 3 feet from parked cars.

• Use hand signals to tell drivers what you intend to do.

• Wear a helmet.

• Use lights at night and when visibility is poor.

• On an off-street trail, obey all posted signs and approach intersections with caution.