Age-related functional impairments and the impact on the ability to cross roads safely

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Jennifer et al Oxley

Safe pedestrian travel is an important factor in maintaining mobility for older road users. However, the task of making gap judgments in order to cross roads safely may place high demands on older pedestrians and it is possible that they are at increased risk as a result of age-related sensory, cognitive and physical limitations. This paper describes an experiment conducted to investigate the effect of age and age-related changes in functional performance on crossing decisions in a simulated road environment. The findings suggest that age and age-related declines in physical, perceptual and cognitive function are associated with an increased likelihood of making an incorrect (unsafe) crossing decision. These findings have practical implications for behavioral and engineering road safety countermeasures for reducing older pedestrian crashes.

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