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Pedestrian slips, trips and falls

Everybody probably knows someone who’s fallen outside. But surprisingly little is known about how many pedestrians fall, who falls, why or where.

Our 2023 report reveals that pedestrian falls could be costing English taxpayers as much as half a billion pounds a year.


A woman walking down a footpath in a public space

What's the problem?

Falls happen to people of all ages, but older people are disproportionately affected.

Academic literature suggests there could be as many as a million outdoor falls among older adults (65+) in England each year.

Hospital admissions data shows a peak in the number of falls between the 80 to 84 age band.

The declining condition of our pavements observed in our street reviews represent an increased risk of pedestrian trips and falls.

Our report

Living Streets was very pleased to receive funding from the Department for Transport to try to explore the true cost and impact of pedestrian trips and falls.

We surveyed local authorities to ask how many footway faults and footway falls were reported.

Their responses suggest that annual personal injury claims payments in England ranged from approximately £15.6 million in 2018 to £7.3 million in 2020.

This is dwarfed by cost medical treatment and ongoing social care. The cost of emergency admissions requiring an overnight stay in 2019 was an estimated £98.7 million.

Ongoing social care could be four times as much. Which begs the question – is footway maintenance being given the priority it deserves?