In 1991, the Transport Research Laboratory on behalf of the Mobility Unit, Department of Transport commissioned the Cranfield Centre for Logistics and Transportation (CCLT) to investigate the frequencies and types of accidents visually impaired people have whilst walking and using public transport. A telephone interview survey of 302 visually impaired independent travellers was conducted. The questionnaire was designed to establish whether respondents had been involved in any accidents when travelling by rail, underground, bus or coach, or whilst walking. The definition of 'accident', and similarly 'injury accident', was left up to the subjective interpretation of the respondents. The results indicate that substantial proportions of visually impaired people have accidents when using public transport and whilst walking. The study concludes that the safety of visually impaired people would be improved if features such as tactile surfaces to warn of platform edges and steps, as well as better lighting, colour contrasting and more public announcements were introduced in public places. (A)

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