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Research 

Most older pedestrians are unable to cross the road in time: a cross-sectional study

Laura Asher1, Maria Aresu1, Emanuela Falaschetti2, Jennifer Mindell1 
1Epidemiology and Public Health UCL; 2Imperial College London.
Correspondence to: L Asher l.asher@ucl.ac.uk
Published electronically 13 June 2012, doi: 10.1093/ageing/afs076. Cite as: Age and Ageing 2012:41: 690-694

Summary of main findings:

The timing of pedestrian crossings in the UK is based on a minimum walking speed of 1.2 metres per second (m/s). A study of a random sample of 3,145 people aged over 65 in private English households found that 84% of men and 93% of women failed to attain that speed in a short timed walk. Mean walking speeds were 0.9 m/s for men and 0.8 m/s for women.

Older pedestrians are more likely than younger pedestrians to die or be seriously injured in road traffic collisions, and slower walking speed is a contributory factor. The timing of pedestrian crossings should be reconsidered.

(Note: as reported previously by OxPA, pedestrian crossings in some European countries provide two buttons allowing choice of timing for two different walking speeds).