No matter what your age, it is never too late to walk and start building a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many senior citizens prefer to complete errands on foot for that very reason. Unfortunately, however, walking in congested areas can be a risky business. In addition, older adults are more prone to pedestrian accidents due to age-related issues such as stiff muscles and joints, decreased flexibility, balance problems, and poor reflexes.
But with the right emphasis on pedestrian safety, older people can dramatically reduce their risk of being hurt in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Seniors
We all learned to look both ways (left, right, and then left again) before crossing the street, and it is still the most important thing a pedestrian can do to ensure his own safety. Following are ten additional tips to help keep older adults safe when they walk:
- Pay attention while walking and make eye contact with drivers.
- Make sure to wear supportive, sturdy shoes that will help you get the proper footing.
- Avoid walking during dawn, dusk, or at dark because drivers have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians during these times.
- Wear bright-colored clothing or reflective gear so drivers can easily spot you.
- Always use sidewalks when they are available.
- Try and plan your walking route so that you are crossing at crosswalks with signal lights or at crosswalks that are clearly marked on the pavement.
- Allow plenty of time to cross the street. Wait until a light turns green and the walk signal directs you to cross.
- Walk with a friend or in a group to increase your safety.
- Pay extra attention in parking lots because cars are backing out and pulling into parking spaces quickly.
Do you know older adults who walk on a regular basis? Please share these tips with them to help prevent serious pedestrian accident injuries.