Injury Prevention Center

Pedestrian Safety in Older Adults

Older Adults Should Keep Walking! 

Walking has many benefits for older adults. Walking:

  • Builds strength 
  • Prevents weight gain 
  • Improves balance 
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cognitive decline, hypertension, osteoporosis, depression and more!

Did You Know?

Pedestrian deaths have increased over 50% since 2009.

(source: NCS)

In 2019, the nation experienced 6590 pedestrian deaths; the highest number in 30 years!

(source: CDC)

Older adults (55 years and older) are at an even higher risk of pedestrian injury and death. The increases in our state and nation have occurred in this age group, not among children or teens.

(source: AAA)

How to Walk Safely and Avoid Injuries

It is important to take safety precautions to avoid injuries when walking.

  • When going on a walk, always wear visual and/or hearing aids
  • If you use a cane, walker or other supportive walking device use it every time you walk
  • Wear reflective clothing (front and back) in low light conditions (dawn, dusk, nighttime)
  • Carry a flashlight if you walk at night
  • Wear light or bright clothing during the day
  • Walk with a friend

Plan Your Route

  • Choose well lit, well used routes 
  • Walk on a sidewalk or path if possible
  • Avoid areas with heavy vehicle traffic, high speed roads or busy intersections
  • Stop and look for traffic in all directions before crossing a street 
  • Allow yourself extra time to cross a street

There are a lot of safe routes in Rhode Island. Check here for locations near your home:  Explore Rhode Island: Walking Trail List (

Learn More

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