Pedestrian Safety Facts for Older Adults
People who are over the age of 65 account for 13 percent of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, they also make up a disproportionately large percentage of pedestrians who are killed in traffic collisions. Walking is a great form of exercise that can strengthen your bones, keep your waistline trim and promote healthier aging. Walking safely is critical to reducing your risk of suffering as a result of a pedestrian accident.
Most traffic fatalities that affect older Americans occur outside of intersections. When you are walking, following the rules of the road can help you stay safer. Walk facing traffic, and stay as far away from vehicles as possible. If there is a sidewalk, use it to stay out of the path of traffic. Cross only in crosswalks, and look for oncoming traffic. Green lights may not always mean it is safe to cross, so keep watching for traffic as you move across the road. If there are no crosswalks, look carefully both ways and only cross once it is safe to do so.
Dress correctly for your walk. Look for clothing and shoes with reflective stripes or patterns, or wear brightly colored clothing. This makes you more visible to cars and reduces your risk, particularly in the evening when visibility is reduced. Avoid walking with headphones or other equipment that could reduce your ability to hear what is going on around you.