A qualitative investigation of older pedestrian views of influences on their road crossing safety

Shaw, Lauren, Lennon, Alexia J., & King, Mark J. (2012) A qualitative investigation of older pedestrian views of influences on their road crossing safety. In Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference 2012, 4-6 October 2012, Wellington, New Zealand.


With Australia’s population rapidly ageing, older pedestrian safety has begun to receive greater attention from road safety researchers. However, reliance on simulator studies and observational techniques has limited current understanding of why older pedestrians adopt particular crossing behaviours, and how they perceive crossing the road. The current study aimed to investigate the psychological factors that may contribute to older pedestrians’ crash risk by examining their perceptions of the issues they encounter on the road. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with 18 pedestrians aged 55 years and older were conducted, and the interview transcripts underwent thematic analysis. From this analysis, four key themes emerged. Firstly, the physical design of the road was perceived as posing a significant threat for older pedestrians, particularly sloped, semi-mountable kerbs and designated crossings. Secondly, declines in older pedestrians’ confidence in their ability to cross the road were evident through fewer reported risks being taken. Additionally, older pedestrians sensed an increased threat from other road users when crossing the road, particularly from drivers and cyclists. Finally, older pedestrians referred to the informal rules and strategies used to guide their road crossing. The results suggest that the road environment is perceived as increasingly dangerous and hazardous environment for older pedestrians. Implications regarding the physical road design in areas with an existing high proportion of elderly people are discussed.

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ID Code: 54489
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Older Pedestrians, Qualitative, Road Safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2012 01:33
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2017 00:29

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