Elderly Pedestrian Safety and Driver Distractions

Elderly people walk slower than other pedestrians. Therefore, when they are crossing high-speed, wide streets, it is often the automobile driver rather than the elderly pedestrian that ensures safe interactions. For this to be possible, it is important that the driver is concentrated on the task of driving rather than having their attention focused somewhere else. The objective of this study is to look at how pedestrian safety for elderly people in particular can be improved in spite of motor-vehicle drivers having more and more 'distracters' in their vehicles. This project will give information that can be used by decision makers on how different roadway widths, existence of refuge islands, speed limits and typical speeds, and other geometric variables influence safety of pedestrians of different ages. The focus of the study will be to look at how the pedestrians interact--with respect to safety margins, misunderstandings, short post-encroachment times, conflicts, etc--with motorists who are being distracted to different degrees and in different ways, for example by using cellular phones. Pedestrian distractions, such as the pedestrian talking on a mobile phone, will also be covered. The research will confirm/refute whether or not automobile drivers while using cellular phones--handheld as well as hands-free ones--or other 'distracters' are significantly less observant with respect to pedestrians crossing streets in marked and unmarked crosswalks, and how special crosswalk warning systems such as in-street lights and overhead flashing lights influence this.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $131691.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    New England University Transportation Center

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 40-279
    Cambridge, MA  United States  01239
  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33393

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489779
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, UMER24-33
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2013 1:01AM