Walking is a highly recommended exercise for senior citizens. In fact, walking may be safer for some senior citizens than driving. However, Northeast Philly streets are also full of pedestrian accident risks that seniors must know.
Make sure you are aware of pedestrian accident risks. And keep these tips for older pedestrians to stay safe and avoid accidents in mind.
Get the Footwear
The right kind of footwear is critical in helping maintain pedestrian safety, especially in the case of senior citizens. Seniors are at a higher risk of fall accidents, and age-related conditions like loss of balance and lack of coordination can increase a senior’s risk of an accident. Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes are ideal footwear for seniors.
Avoid Walking at Night
Walk only during the daytime when the chances of motorists seeing you are higher. If you must walk at night, wear light-colored clothing or walk in a group. Stick reflective tape on your clothing, jackets, shoes, or bag to increase visibility in the darkness. Carry a flashlight.
Plan Your Walking Route in Advance
Plan your walking route ahead of time in order to avoid dangerous areas. Avoid dangerous intersections and areas that do not have sufficient crosswalks. And if you must walk at night, plan your route in an area with sufficient lighting to improve visibility.
Look for Traffic at All Times
Look for traffic even if you are at a marked and designated crosswalk or on a one-way street. Don’t simply assume that traffic signals will help keep you safe and will help stop traffic. Use the pedestrian push button at intersections to allow you enough time to cross the road.
Look Out for Accident Risks & Stay Alert
Stay alert. Do not only look for, but also listen for, approaching cars. Make eye contact with motorists.
Of course, some elderly pedestrians may suffer declining cognitive ability. This may make driving as well as walking unsafe. Pedestrians with declining cognitive ability may be at greater risk of accidents, getting lost, and other hazards. If you have an elderly loved one who suffers from declining cognitive ability, accompany them when they leave the house or make sure they do not walk alone.