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Old Age: What are the Main Difficulties and Vulnerabilities in the Transport Environment?

Transport, Travel and Later Life

ISBN: 978-1-78714-624-2, eISBN: 978-1-78714-623-5

Publication date: 1 December 2017


Old age is a complex and dynamic phenomenon. The relationship between old age and transport is also very complex due to the heterogeneity within this age group. Yet what is certain is that with age, a person’s functional abilities change. This chapter provides a summary of how older people can be vulnerable within the road environment. Using an established framework for understanding old-age vulnerabilities, this chapter explains the common exposure factors and threats that several older people face in the transport environment. These primarily deal with individual physical and cognitive characteristics, medical conditions as well as the appropriateness (or not) of infrastructure. Subsequently, common difficulties for older drivers, pedestrians and public transport users are discussed. The main vulnerabilities that result from such difficulties are related to an over-representation of older people in accidents and to a lower quality of life due to mobility inefficiencies. Yet, using the same framework, the compensation techniques that older people often adopt to minimise such limitations are also highlighted. Reference is also made to the issues related to the lack of awareness in old age and the corresponding inability to compensate. The review concludes by suggesting a way forward for further studies on transport vulnerability in later life.



Mifsud, D., Attard, M. and Ison, S. (2017), "Old Age: What are the Main Difficulties and Vulnerabilities in the Transport Environment?", Musselwhite, C. (Ed.) Transport, Travel and Later Life (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 65-91.



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