Timed Traffic Crossings Too Fast For Seniors
Timed traffic crosswalks are too fast for many older pedestrians, putting them at risk of an accident and decreasing their quality of life, according to a new study.
British researchers compared the average speed of senior walkers with the time it took to navigate a crosswalk. Many crosswalks in the UK and around the world have a speed of 4 feet per second. Of the people monitored by researchers as they crossed a street, 76 percent of men and 85 percent of women walked more slowly than the designated speed.
Researcher Dr. Laura Asher, of University College London, said that the results had implications for seniors’ overall quality of life. “It affects older adults' health, as they are more likely to avoid crossing a busy road. Walking is an important activity for older people as it provides regular exercise and direct health benefits. Being unable to cross a road may deter them from walking, reducing their access to social contacts and interaction, local health services and shops, that are all important in day to day life."
She also said that seniors were at increased risk for traffic accidents, and take longer than younger people to recover from them.
Researchers called for a comprehensive review of the speed of timed traffic crossings.