Vulnerable road users account for half (50%) of all road deaths worldwide. They are vulnerable to traffic as they do not have the protective frame of a vehicle to absorb the impact of a collision, so are exposed to the full force. They are at particular risk from: vehicles manoeuvring, particularly at junctions, as they may not be seen in a blind spot; fast vehicles, as higher speeds result in harder impacts; and traffic around homes, schools and shops, which often could be redirected to roads where there are fewer people walking or cycling.
There is evidence that fear of traffic discourages people from walking or cycling. Only 22% of journeys and just 3% of miles travelled in Britain are made on foot, and just 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are made by bike. A Brake survey of UK schoolchildren found three in four (76%) would like to walk and cycle more, but more than half (56%) worry they might be run over when walking or cycling on roads. A separate Brake survey found that one in three non-cyclists would be persuaded to cycle if routes were safer.
The report can be viewed in full here.