Perceptions of safety impacting seniors’ travel behavior in Het Lage Land and Prinsenland neighborhoods in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
MetadataShow full item record
By 2050, one in six people in the world is predicted to be over the age of 65 (United Nations et al., 2020). As a consequence, municipalities are active in ensuring that older adults can actively participate in society and feel safe. The initiator of this research were previous findings of the Verkeersonderneming (transport agency) who conducted a questionnaire asking residents in Het Lage Land and Prinsenland, Rotterdam how safe they feel while traveling. These results reflected that with increasing age participants feel less safe while traveling (De Verkeersonderneming, 2020a) Therefore, this result was the starting point of this research and poses the following question: What influence do perceptions of safety from accidents, crime, and infectious diseases have on the travel behavior of older adults in Prinsenland and Het Lage Land in Rotterdam, the Netherlands? In order to answer this question, in-depth interviews were conducted with ten participants aged 55 and older from the two neighborhoods in Rotterdam. The main findings were that older adults feel less safe from accidents (falling, being hit by a moving vehicle), but this did not impact their travel behavior. In addition, participants avoid traveling or avoid areas during darkness when traveling because they feel less safe. Lastly, perceptions of safety from infectious diseases changed and more participants used individualistic modes of transportation such as car or bicycles during COVID-19 than before. These findings can be useful for researchers and transport agencies like De Verkeersonderneming to offer insights into older adults’ perceptions of safety and how they impact their travel behavior.