Be well prepared
If you are in walking around in traffic, you should be easily visible. Wearing light or reflective clothing can contribute to your safety.
Try to avoid distractions. If you are looking at your smartphone, it is best if you stand still. Make sure your music is quiet enough that you can still hear your surroundings.
Always stay on the pavement in the city.
The road is only for cars, motorcycles and bicycles.
In many cities there are also separate bicycle and walking paths. You will recognise these by the following markings on the ground and by this sign: “Getrennter Geh- und Radweg” (“Separate Cycle and Pedestrian Path”) .
Pay attention that you are not walking on a bicycle path, because you are putting yourself and cyclists in danger. HINT: The more distance you keep from the road or bicycle path, the better. In the direction of travel, keep to the right-hand side of the pavement, and try to stay as far to the right as possible.
Often there is no pavement between two towns along the country road. You should then walk on the left side. That way you can see approaching cars, motorcycles and bicycles better. You should also walk as far away from the road as possible. IMPORTANT: No one travelling on foot is allowed to enter the highways or motor roads. Whoever ignores this rule puts themselves in danger.
If you see this sign, you will find yourself in a pedestrian zone. Pedestrians have the right of way , but you should still be careful. There might also be additional signs that will inform you if delivery lorries or bicycles can also drive or ride here. In these cases you should be especially careful.
This sign is more frequently seen in purely residential areas: . Here, children are allowed to play in the street and people on foot may use the whole street. You are, however, not allowed to hinder traffic. Cars are allowed to travel at a maximum speed of 4-6 km/h. Caution is always necessary!
Crossing the street
If you want to cross the street, it is best to use a traffic light. Red means: “Stop! Do not cross the road.” Green means: “You may cross the street, but be cautious.”
If you had a green light and started crossing the street but the light changes to red, do not stand still. You should continue crossing to the other side. If you have reached a traffic island before the light has changed, wait there until the light turns green again.
If you are travelling on foot, you can generally also use the pedestrian crossing. Here pedestrians have the right of way in Germany, but you should clearly show that you want to cross the street. Cross the pedestrian crossing only when you are sure that the road is free or the vehicles have stopped for you. HINT: If you hear a siren and/or see a blue light, you must always let the police, fire brigade, ambulance or other rescue vehicles through. Then you must wait at the green light or at the pedestrian crossing.
A traffic island makes crossing the road easier. In contrast to a pedestrian crossing, cars, motorcycles or bicycles are not required to stop here. Pedestrians do not have the right of way.
If you want to cross the street, always first look for a light, a pedestrian crossing or a traffic island. If you do not see any of those, make sure that the road is clear. Look left, look right and then look again to the left. Use the shortest way to get to the other side of the street. HINT: It is dangerous to try and cross the street if you are standing in between parked cars. It is especially difficult for cars and lorries to see you there. If there is an open space to cross the street, use that instead.
Statistics show you are very safe on foot in Germany. However, you should always remain cautious and avoid risks.