Factors influencing pedestrian safety: a literature review

  • Published: TRL, for Transport for London, 2006
  • Authors: A. Martin
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf


To investigate in what ways pedestrian behaviour might be influenced (in ways most acceptable to pedestrians and other road users) to reduce the numbers of casualties on London’s roads.


Literature review.

Key Findings:

  • There are no simple universal solutions that would reduce pedestrian casualties in London, particularly because of the large numbers of pedestrians and the high traffic flows on London roads. The problem should be addressed at a strategic level and a hierarchical approach based on hot spots but also aimed at systematically improving pedestrian safety is needed.

  • As far as possible, 20mph zones should be located around schools. Other possibilities are the use of intelligent road studs or vehicle-activated signals that work on 30mph most of the time but 20mph at school times, or pedestrian priority signals.

  • The literature reviewed has shown that the school journey is also associated with a high risk for children, as a high number of collisions amongst school age children occur on the journey to and from school.

  • The literature demonstrated that family circumstances can have an effect on the risk of child pedestrian collisions: children with unemployed parents, single parents, and children living in crowded accommodation are all more likely to be involved in a collision.

  • Research has shown that children, particularly teenagers, perform a number of potentially unsafe pedestrian behaviours. The frequencies with which those behaviours are performed tend to increase with age during childhood as children become more independent and capable road users.

  • School children are reported to be very influenced by peer group pressure which encourages them to disobey pedestrian signals. This has an impact on how to influence children; parents may be the most useful channel for younger children whereas peers may be more influential on older children.

  • Research suggests that road user education can help to promote desirable attitudes and behaviours in child pedestrians.f


Pedestrians, road safety, evaluation.


Comprehensive review, primarily focussed on London.