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Adults age 65-plus account for one in five pedestrian deaths and sustain more severe injuries in nonfatal accidents. Many factors increase the risk for older pedestrians. They may not see or hear as well, think as clearly or move as quickly as they once did. Other factors may include aggressive drivers, poor infrastructure and misguided safety measures, such as crosswalk signals that change too quickly for people to complete their crossing.

Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers; don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, he or she may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
  • Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers

  • Cross at Corners
    • The safest place to cross is at a corner of a street, with or without a crosswalk.
    • Watch for turning vehicles. Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
    • Crossing mid-block where drivers are not expecting to see you is the most common cause of pedestrian injury.
  • Obey Signals
    • Follow all signs and signals
    • Start walking only when "WALK" or the pedestrian icon is displayed.
    • If the red hand is flashing, you may continue to cross. But if you haven't started crossing, wait for the next green light.
    • Do not start walking when a "Don't Walk" or the red hand symbol is displayed on the Pedestrian Control Device.
  • Right of Way
    • Pedestrians do not automatically have the right of way, even when there is a crosswalk. Pedestrians must give cars enough time to stop before entering the street.
    • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.