Falls in the elderly and accessibility traffic environment in neighborhood districts


Takao Yanagihara, Fumi Takahashi and Ryota Ishimi


C4. Guiding and accessibility in transport environments

Date and Time

2014-06-17, 11:00 - 11:20


MA 6
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Purpose of the Study
To be able to walk around in the neighborhood is an important part of daily life. There are elderly people who cannot go for a walk or cannot go to shop in their neighborhood because of not accessible pathway or pavements, feelings of being insecure or fear of traffic accidents.
The number of elderly citizen’s accidents increases every year with aging in Japan. The number of elderly citizen’s falling accident is more than the traffic accident. In addition, many traffic accidents of elderly people has happened in their neighborhood. It is expected that a lot of falling accidents occur in their neighborhood too, but the falling accident places are not recorded in Japan.
On the other hand, by the transportation accessibility improvement law in Japan, many station and the surrounding of the station have been improved, but the neighborhood district have not been improved. The purpose of this study is to investigate the realities of the falling accident in the elderly people in neighborhood districts.
To do this, one specific neighborhood district in the city of Toyonaka in Osaka of Japan was selected as the target for this study. The hearing survey was conducted to 40 elderly people about falling experiences in their neighborhood. In addition, another 34 elderly people checked pathways of accessibility in their neighborhood.
The elderly people who had the falling experiences were about 30%, some people had severe injury by bone fracture. The falling places were mapped. The falling reasons were stumbling at uneven pavement and slope, falling to the ditch. In the field check, there were opinion about the width of the pathway, the height of dropped kerb, and amount of traffic, but the falling places by hearing survey were not pointed out. The falling places are not barriers or dangerous places for elderly people in their daily life. It is clear that the place where the elderly people do not think dangerous is the falling places.
From the above results, the elderly people is stumbling at a little uneven pavement that they do not think dangerous. When the local governments make an accessibility basic plan, users participate the planning to state their needs and ideas. However, from the results of this study, elderly people do not find the uneven pavement to be dangerous. In the future, when the local governments make an accessibility basic plan, it is a problem how to find dangerous places of falling on the check field survey.