If road users are classified conventionally into car occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, occupants of heavy goods vehicles, occupants of public service vehicles, and pedestrians, then in terms of traffic fatalities pedestrians constitute the largest single group. In the USA, they account for 18% of fatalities, UK 41%, Poland 46%. No firm data are available from countries where the car is present only in relatively small numbers, but in those very countries it is pedestrians who predominate as the main victims of traffic accidents.
Vehicles are a threat to pedestrians even when the people walking have the legal right-of-way, particularly where the footpath and the road are at the same level. No amount of painted white lines, zebra-crossings, traffic lights, button-operated signals or even traffic police on duty ever alter the fact that a car may strike a pedestrian unless the driver brakes; and brakes and drivers do fail. The absence of raised cross-walks and raised road-side pavements contributes to accidents and pedestrian insecurity.