Pedestrian Safety - Beware the Multiple Threat

Monday, August 31, 2015 - 9:39am

Concerns about pedestrian safety are heightened this time of year with the start of the school for public and private schools, universities and colleges.  There is increased traffic and a lot more pedestrians and bicyclists on the streets, sidewalks and paths. 
A crash type of particular concern to traffic safety specialists in Madison is called the “multiple threat”.  The multiple threat crash occurs when one driver slows down or stops to let a pedestrian cross the street and another driver tries to go around the first driver, creating multiple threats for the pedestrian while crossing the street. 
Whenever a driver slows or stops at an intersection, we have to ask ourselves why that driver is slowing down.  Before trying to pass, we need to slow down, too, and make sure it is safe before passing. There might be a pedestrian in the crosswalk, and that means we have to stop, too, and let the pedestrian cross the street. 
The attached graphics show the two major multiple threat situations.  Please think about other people’s safety, not just your convenience, when driving. 
For more information on driving and walking safely, please see the brochure Pedestrian Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility at
Please direct any questions to the contact person shown.