Pedestrian safety, older people

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Walking is an important transport option for the older population as it contributes to physical activity and individual quality of life. Nonetheless, older pedestrians are among the most vulnerable of all road users and are over-represented in road accidents. Factors affecting the safety of older pedestrians include decline in health conditions, the form and design of the built environment, automobile driver behavior, regulatory environment, and enforcement actions. These factors especially influence the risk associated with crossing a road. Changes associated with aging affect walking skills by reducing walking speed, ability to navigate, maintain balance, and negotiate with obstacles, with the risk of falling found as the main implication. Moreover, older pedestrians display lower performance in road crossing behavior with regard to visual exploration and judging crossing gap opportunities compared to younger people. Overall, they employ a more conservative approach with the perception of feeling safer, but still often have lower safety margins. It is therefore of utmost importance that streets and roads where older pedestrians cross at level are kept narrow and have low speeds. Preferably, all roads should be built such that older people and children can safely walk along them and cross them
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Transportation
EditorsRoger Vickerman
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780081026724
ISBN (Print)9780081026717
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021


  • Aging
  • Functional changes
  • Health decline
  • Older pedestrians
  • Older people
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Road crossing
  • Road safety
  • Transport barriers
  • Transport gerontology
  • Vulnerable road users
  • Walking


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