Pedestrians over 65

Pedestrians over 65 are involved in a higher number of crashes because they have more difficulty judging the speed and distance of traffic accurately, as eyesight and hearing decline. They also may not react quickly to avoid approaching vehicles.

Walking to get around

Walking is a form of moderate physical activity that offers real health benefits as it can:

  • keep you active, fit and healthy
  • help you to control your weight
  • reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Think about how you can mix walking with other means of transport, such as walking to the bus, tram stop or railway station.

Plan your walk

  • Cross as few roads as possible
  • If you have to cross roads, use traffic lights or pedestrian crossings
  • Walk at times where there are other pedestrians
  • Wear brightly coloured clothing so others can see you

Tips for pedestrians over 65 years of age

If you are older, have your sight and hearing checked regularly and adjust your road use behaviour accordingly.

If you take medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain how it may affect you as a pedestrian.

Crossing a road safely

To cross a road safely you must:

  • stop, look and listen in all directions
  • when safe, cross using the shortest possible route
  • make eye contact with drivers.

Crossing at pedestrian signals

To cross safely at pedestrian signals:

  • cross when the green man is showing
  • if the red man flashes while you are crossing, continue walking until you reach the other side
  • do not start crossing if the red man is flashing or steady.

Important facts about pedestrians 65 years of age or over

A large proportion of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries involve older people who are more vulnerable because they are frail. While there are obvious benefits of walking to maintain good health and wellbeing, older adults are at increased risk of death and serious injury as pedestrians.

Many of these occur as a result of a fall on footpaths, stepping off kerbs and falling while crossing the road (without being struck by a vehicle).

Just like older drivers, older pedestrians also have difficulty judging the speed and distance of traffic accurately, as eyesight and hearing begin to fail and they do not move or react as quickly to avoid approaching vehicles.

On the street, at intersections:

  • 40% of pedestrian killed at intersections were 65 years or over.
  • Almost half of pedestrians killed in a crash at an intersection without traffic lights were 65 years or over.
  • About one-third of pedestrians involved in a crash midway between intersections were 65 years or over.

Getting around without a car

  • Walking is a great way to get around when the time comes and you may no longer be able to drive.
  • To prepare for this change, seek the advice of your local doctor and other health professionals, such as your optometrist or occupational therapist.
  • Explore all the options available so you can continue to meet your friends and family and maintain your independence.

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