Three types of pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in the traffic environment.
- Children are impulsive and have little or no sense of danger. Boys are twice as likely to be involved in child pedestrian casualties as girls. Males 12 to 17 years have hightest rate of child pedestrian casualties.
- Older people are over represented in pedestrian crashes. People aged 70 years or older represent around 10 per cent of residents in NSW. However, they account for around one third (33%) of pedestrian fatalities.
- Older pedestrians may be experiencing diminished vision, hearing, slower walking speeds and slower reaction times – all factors which affect their ability to cross the roads safely.
- The relative frailty of many older people means that if a car hits older pedestrians, the outcome is likely to be more severe - resulting in a fatality rather than an injury.
Alcohol affected pedestrians
Around 30% of fatalities and 24% of injuries involve a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more. Alcohol slows brain functions, reduces a person's ability to apply appropriate judgement, increases risk taking, affects sense of balance and increases sleepiness. Alcohol affects your ability to judge the speed and distance of vehicles.
Who is at risk
- All pedestrians impaired by alcohol are at risk.
- Young males are particularly over-represented in alcohol affected pedestrian deaths.
- The majority of alcohol related pedestrian deaths occur at night.
- Like 'drink drivers' the majority of alcohol affected pedestrians are killed in peak social drinking times - between Thursday night and Sunday morning.
If you plan to drink, reduce your risk by planning ahead:
- Use train and bus services.
- Organise a lift.
- Book a taxi or mini-bus.
- Stay overnight at a place nearby.
- Wear bright light clothes at night so that you are more visible to drivers and riders.