Stickman Knows

Walking is good for your health, and it's good for the environment too. But before you head out on foot for a stroll, power walk, or errand, there are important safety tips to remember.


As a pedestrian, walking in Spokane County gives us the most freedom to enjoy the sights and sounds of our community.  It also means that we are at our most vulnerable as we share the roadways with bicyclists and drivers.  Being informed of top safety tips and aware of our responsibilities as pedestrians, will help us enjoy our local areas safely and soundly.  So lace up your sneakers and let's go!

Stickman Knows How to Be a Safe Pedestrian

Top Safety Tips

Top Safety Tips
 1. Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections.          
 2. Before crossing, look left, right, then left again.          
 3. Use pedestrian pushbuttons.          
 4. Begin crossing the street on "Walk" signal.          
 5. Stay visible after dark and in bad weather.          
 6. Watch out for vehicles backing out of parking spaces and driveways.          
 7. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the motor skills and judgment of pedestrians just as it does for drivers. Don't take the risk.          
 8. Very small children should not cross street by themselves. Make sure your children are aware of pedestrian safety tips and laws.          

The teen death rate is


times that of younger children.

Teenagers are now at greatest risk

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19. Teens have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths. The most likely cause for this would be distractions such as electronic devices that take attention off the road and environment.

Credit: Headphones photo via Shutterstock

Credit: Headphones photo via Shutterstock

Did you know?

In Spokane County:

  • The age ranges most commonly involved in pedestrian collision are 15-24, 40-44 (smaller peak) and 85+ (larger peak). 1 2 3
  • 3 out of 5 injured pedestrians are male. 3
  • More men walk than women. 4
  • 3% of pedestrian collisions were fatal, another 13% resulted in serious or disabling injuries. 1
  • There is a concentration of pedestrian collisions in the City of Spokane between I-90 and Francis.
  • 77% of pedestrian collisions happen within the City of Spokane; 14% in Spokane Valley. 1
  • Most pedestrian collisions happen on Fridays. The peak time of pedestrian collisions is 5:00 p.m. with 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. being the highest range of the day. 1
  • Pedestrian collisions involving children happen most often in June (13%) July (11%) and October (19%). 1
  • Pedestrian collisions involving adults happen most often October-February. 1
  • When a pedestrian is at fault for a collision with a motorist, the main reasons are failure to use a crosswalk and did not grant right of way to the vehicle. 6

In General:

  • In Spokane County, there is a greater number of pedestrian collisions than bike collisions. 1
  • In Spokane County, bicyclists are at a higher risk of collision than pedestrians. 1 This is because there are many more pedestrians than bicyclists. 1


  • 83 percent of child pedestrian deaths occur at non-intersection locations. 7
  • Alcohol involvement—either for the driver or the pedestrian—was reported in 48 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. 8
  • On average in the United States, a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes in traffic collisions. 8
  • In 2009, two –thirds of the pedestrians killed were male. 8


1 SRTC Collision Data, Spokane County, 2007-2009

2 Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS), Spokane County, 2000-2009

3 Emergency Room Data, Spokane County, 2003-2009

4 SRTC, Non-motorized Transport Survey, 2010

5 SRTC Bike and Pedestrian Collision Map, Spokane County, 2007-2009

6 WSDOT Collision Data, Spokane County, 2006-2009

8 NHTSA's 2009 Traffic Safety Facts

9Washington State Patrol 2010 Annual Report

10Washington State Patrol. For period ending May 15, 2011

Pedestrian Laws

In Washington state:

  • Traffic signals - Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and traffic control devices unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer (RCW 46.61.050).
  • Sidewalks - Drivers and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks (RCW 46.61.261).
  • Pedestrians on roadways - Pedestrians must use sidewalks when they are available. If sidewalks are not available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic (RCW 46.61.250).
  • Bolting into traffic - No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb and move into traffic so that the driver can not stop (RCW 46.61.235).
  • Drivers exercise due care - Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (RCW 46.61.245).
  • Stop for pedestrians at intersections - Vehicles shall stop at intersections to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk (RCW 46.61.235). See Washington's Crosswalk Law for more information.
  • Yield to vehicles outside intersections - Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway (RCW 46.61.240).
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Stickman Knows Toolkit

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