Walk San Francisco (‘Walk SF’) is the city’s pedestrian safety advocacy organization.
Since our founding in 1998, Walk SF has been leading the way to make San Francisco a pedestrian-first city with safe and welcoming streets for all. Learn about our impact.
Reporters, check out:
- Our press releases
- Key facts about pedestrian safety in San Francisco
- Recommended reading for journalists
For media inquiries, contact:
Key Facts About Pedestrian Safety in San Francisco
- Every day, at least 3 people walking are hit by cars on average in San Francisco. This is more than any other city in the state. Yes, many people walk here, but that doesn’t mean that more people should be injured. Over 50% of the people killed in traffic crashes in the city are pedestrians; the national average for pedestrians killed in traffic violence is only 14%.
- Of all severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco, 68% happen on only 12% of our streets. These streets, our city’s most dangerous, are called high-injury corridors (see a map of the high-injury network).
- Seniors make up just 15% of the population but make up 50% of pedestrian fatalities each year in San Francisco. People with disabilities face additional risks all well.
- Speed is the leading factor for serious injury and death in San Francisco. A person hit by a vehicle traveling 25 MPH has a 25% chance of a life-threatening or fatal injury; at 40 MPH this goes up to 75%.
- Crashes and collisions are not “accidents.” Crashes are not random acts; they can be prevented. They are the result of dangerous street designs and/or dangerous traffic behaviors, and most importantly, they are predictable and preventable.
- Everyone is not responsible and equally to blame in a collision. That’s because some people are more vulnerable than others. Viewing crashes as a matter of individual accountability ignores the inequity between people who are driving, bicycling, or walking. This is particularly true for children, seniors, and people with disabilities, who are most vulnerable. A national study found that wheelchair users are a third more likely to be killed in a crash than non-wheelchair users.
- Whether a street crossing is marked or unmarked with crosswalk paint, it’s a legal crosswalk. In San Francisco, all intersections of streets wider than 25 feet are legal crosswalks, unless they specifically say “no crossing.” Pedestrians have the right of way; drivers and cyclists are required to yield, i.e., stop behind the line and leave crosswalks free for pedestrians.
Recommended Reading for Journalists
- Our stance on the need to end victim-blaming in media coverage of crashes
- From the Columbia Journalism Review: When covering car crashes, be careful not to blame the victim
- Journalists: Here’s how to produce less horrible stories about pedestrians and cyclists getting killed by Peter Flax
- Using the term “crash” not “accident”