Older pedestrians have been shown to be over-involved in casualty crashes, compared to younger pedestrians, in recent reports. This study set out to investigate whether older pedestrians' road crossing behaviour might render them more vulnerable to crashes because of declines in their physical, sensory, perceptual or cognitive abilities. An initial 'blackspot' accident analysis highlighted the types of crashes in which older (and younger) adult pedestrians were involved and likely crossing actions. Road crossing behaviour was then systematically measured from unobtrusive video recordings of individual road crossings for a sample of younger and older pedestrians at several urban locations. On two-way undivided roads, older pedestrians crossed more frequently when there was closer moving traffic and generally adopted less safe road crossing strategies than their younger counterparts. On one-way divided roads, their crossing behaviour was considerably more safe and similar to that of younger pedestrians. The findings suggest that age-related perceptual and cognitive deficits may play a substantial role in many of the crashes involving older pedestrians. © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Older road user