For the elderly, the bus is not only a possible means of transportation; it can also be a hazard. Each year, many people – most of them elderly – suffer falls and resulting injuries on buses. The movement on a bus and the relatively hard surface of a bus floor can mean that falls in this type of vehicle can lead to back injuries, broken bones, broken hips, brain injuries, and other serious injuries.
Elderly persons traveling by bus – and indeed any bus passengers – can prevent falls by:
1) Wearing proper shoes. Flat, sturdy shoes with no-slip treads are good option when getting on and off the bus. Shoes shouldn’t come off the foot easily and should be firmly attached to the foot with laces or straps. Crocks, flip-flops, and many sandals, for example, are inappropriate because they can easily come off the foot and become jammed in bus steps or in between seats.
2) Sitting in the right seats. Every bus has seats available for the elderly or the disabled. Elderly people who do not feel that they can easily get to and from bus doors by themselves should sit in designated seats or in seats close to the bus driver. Staying visible to the bus driver ensures safety and help in the event help is needed.
3) Exercising extra caution on wet days. When it is raining, bus floors can quickly become wet and slippery. On wet days, it might be good to wear extra sturdy shoes that offer a good grip or to carry a cane that offers additional traction.
4) Asking for extra help when needed. If you require extra help to get to and from your seat, be sure to ask the bus driver. Bus drivers are there to help all the passengers enjoy a safe bus ride. If you’re having trouble or if you have fallen, ask the bus driver for assistance.
5) Sitting when the bus is moving. Sit down before the thus begins to move again, and remain sitting until the bus comes to a full stop. You’re much more likely to fall down if you’re moving while the bus is moving. There is also the possibility that the bus will make a sudden turn or stop, which can cause virtually anyone to lose their footing.
6) Holding onto seats or bars when moving around the bus. If you need to move around a bus, in order to approach the bus doors or to speak to the driver, for example, hold onto the backs of seats or onto the special hand railings or overhead hand railings in order to maintain your balance.