Senior pedestrians are more at risk of being involved in a serious or fatal accident. Adopting safe habits is essential to avoid the worst.
As people age, their physical, sensory and cognitive abilities decrease, which may affect them when getting around on foot. These abilities include:
This explains why elderly pedestrians are overrepresented in statistics and are often more seriously injured than younger victims.
Various factors may influence your safety, such as:
It is essential that you adopt safe habits:
Even when you have the right of way, always stay aware of your surroundings and the behaviours of other road users.
Darkness is a pedestrian's enemy, because it prevents motorists from seeing them properly. This is also the case when it is raining or snowing.
More than a third (35%) of traffic accidents in which an elderly pedestrian (age 65 or older) was killed occurred during the fall months (average from 2015 to 2019).
To be visible when it is dark, wear brightly coloured clothing or reflective strips.
Being visible also means avoiding being hidden by something on the side of the road (bus shelter, pole, vehicle, tree, building, etc.). Before crossing the street, make sure that drivers have seen you by attempting to establish visual contact. When in doubt, wait before crossing.
In most towns and villages across Québec, drivers may turn right on a red light, except where prohibited by a sign.
However, on the island of Montréal, turning right on a red light is prohibited everywhere. Regardless, you should still check to make sure the way is clear before crossing!
All vehicles have blind spots. Heavy vehicle blind spots are larger. Blind spots are parts of the road that drivers cannot see, which is why you should avoid finding yourself in them.
All types of vehicles have blind spots at the front, rear and sides. Blind spots can also be created by the windshield pillars of the vehicle. Some types of vehicles, such as tool vehicles and vehicles fitted with auxiliary equipment (e.g. snowblowers, snowplows, etc.) can have additional blind spots. When you are walking near one of these vehicles, be careful!
Heavy vehicle blind spots are to blame for several accidents involving pedestrians, especially at intersections.
When you are at an intersection, follow these safety rules:
A truck driver has little chance of hearing you if you try to make your presence known.
At an intersection, if there are pedestrian lights and traffic lights, obey the pedestrian lights.
|The solid white silhouette means that you may cross the roadway in the area reserved for pedestrians. You must cross cautiously and pay particular attention to vehicles that could make a turn. The time counter shows the time remaining for you to cross the intersection.|
|The flashing hand symbol with a countdown display means that you may only start crossing the roadway if you are able to reach the other sidewalk or the safety zone before the signal changes to the solid orange hand signal. You must therefore judge whether you should cross or not.|
|The flashing hand symbol without a countdown display means that if you have already begun crossing the roadway, you must hurry to reach the sidewalk on the other side or a safety zone. You should not begin crossing the roadway at that time.|
|The solid orange hand means that you may not begin crossing the roadway. The countdown display shows 0 when the solid orange hand appears. In this situation, you must wait for the next white silhouette.|
To have as much time as possible to cross the street, you should start crossing as soon as the pedestrian light begins (when the white silhouette appears).
|You are allowed to cross if the light facing you is green, and you have the right of way once you are on the roadway.|
|You have priority over motorists, who must bring their vehicle to a stop and yield the right of way.|
See our section entitled On Foot.
|You have the right of way; drivers and cyclists must stop and let you go by once you have begun crossing the yellow or white pavement markings or clearly signaled your intention to cross.|
While crossing, do a visual scan:
Failure to obey pedestrian rules (such as pedestrian lights or signs and signals) could make you liable to a fine of $15 to $30, in addition to legal costs.
Road users must remain vigilant and anticipate the appearance of other road users.
Remember that even though pedestrians are more vulnerable than many other types of road users, they still have a part to play to ensure that the road is shared harmoniously.
When out walking, you must share the road with other users.
Last update: May 19, 2022