Older people are at greater risk of injury if they are involved in an accident or crash while walking. Here are some tips on being a safe and confident pedestrian.
Be safe and be seen
- Wear bright or light-coloured clothing and reflective materials to help others to see you.
- Carry a torch when walking at night.
- Cross the road in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
- Catch the driver's attention by making eye contact or waving.
- Use footpaths where provided. Where there is no footpath, walk facing oncoming traffic, as far off the road as possible.
- Plan your trip to avoid hazardous conditions and busy traffic times.
- Be predictable.
- Watch out for reversing vehicles, especially in residential and urban communities. Look for vehicle lights and listen for engine noise.
- Take additional care in parking areas, especially supermarkets and malls where cars are reversing and there are many distractions.
- Wear suitable shoes.
- Stay sober – walking while impaired increases your chance of being injured. People are at risk of impairment due to the effects of medications (or drugs) used with or without alcohol.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals – look before you cross the road.
- Avoid wearing headphones or talking on a mobile phone while crossing.
Be careful crossing: look before you step
- If the pedestrian crossing is controlled by lights, only cross at the beginning of the green pedestrian light. If you are concerned about the length of time traffic lights allow for crossing then watch one light cycle to ensure you know the time available to cross. If you want to cross diagonally consider crossing two separate roads (two shorter crossings).
- If there is a pedestrian refuge or traffic island in the middle of the road, cross to halfway then check for traffic.
- Be especially careful when crossing roads with several lanes going in the same direction. It may be difficult for drivers in each lane to see you.
- If crossing where there are no pedestrian crossings, be especially vigilant. Always stop at the kerb and check traffic in both directions (even when crossing one-way streets). Remember to look and listen for traffic from all directions.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
More tips about getting around on foot