Wear brighter clothing – All pedestrians are more at risk in the dark or bad weather due to poor visibility.
Wearing something bright, or at the very least, carrying something bright, will help drivers to see you more easily.
Cross where it's safest – An alarming number of pedestrians are tragically knocked down and killed within sight of a pedestrian crossing, so it's worth the small effort to use one.
If you aren't near one, find somewhere where there's a good view of the traffic and no vehicles are obscuring your view.
Walking is a great form of exercise and provides many benefits; it’s free, it’s gentle on the body, it helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes and lowers blood pressure. It’s also excellent for controlling weight and improving flexibility.
No matter what age, or current level of fitness, everyone can benefit from exercise. It’s important to keep it up, however, as there is strong evidence to show that if we don’t, increasing frailty will result.
While walking is important it should be noted that slower walking speeds can put you more at risk when crossing the road and extra care should be taken on busier roads.
Worsening eyesight or hearing loss can also make it more difficult to detect moving objects or affect balance, as well as making it harder to detect the noise of approaching vehicles.
Be honest with yourself about any physical shortcomings that might affect you when out and about. Here are some things to think about:
Eyesight, medicines and mobility
Eyesight can deteriorate fairly rapidly so it’s good to get your eyes tested at least once a year to see if you need any changes to your glasses or contact lenses, if you use them. Testing will also help detect age-related conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts which can normally be easily treated if picked up early enough.
When wearing glasses around the house, you need to make sure you always wear them outdoors as well, whether driving, walking or cycling. The same rule applies to any hearing aids as we all need to keep fully alert in today’s busy traffic environment.
Most fatalities among older pedestrians are highest between 9am and 3pm when many choose to go out. Fatalities are also most likely to occur near the home, so it’s important to remain vigilant, even in familiar locations.
When winter comes, it’s good to wrap up. We can all end up spending longer outdoors than expected and there’s nothing more miserable than being chilled to the bone. Wearing sensible shoes is helpful for keeping warm and having good grips underneath will reduce the chance of slipping over.
Stocking up on provisions is really useful to limit the number of times you need to go out during extreme weather conditions.