Falls and Fall-Related Injury and Prevention
Researchers have developed a new coating for sidewalks and bike paths, more than 60% of which is made from crushed rubber to reduce fall injuries and save thousands of lives.
Falls are the second leading cause of death from accidental or unintentional injury, according to the World Health Organization. For older people, the risk of injury is much higher. In this regard, within the framework of the European Union’s SAFERUP initiative, a team of scientists has developed a special shock-absorbing road surface.
It contains traditional asphalt components such as crushed stone, sand, mineral powder and bitumen, as well as shredded tires, which account for more than 60% of the total mix. This 4 to 8 cm thick coating should be applied over existing sidewalks and cycle paths as they wear out or be reworked..
The developed cushioning layer is currently being tested in Sweden to confirm its safety, the level of shock absorption in case of loss of balance, as well as to study the rate of wear, indicators of flushing, bioremediation and more..
In addition to reducing injuries, scientists predict that the new coating will help people lead a more active lifestyle by walking, running and cycling more often without worrying about the risk of serious injury..
According to the developers, the cost of the shock-absorbing mixture is approximately equal to the classic one, and any additional costs will be easily recouped by saving on medical services..
We also previously reported that Dow Chemical used over 100 tons of plastic waste for road construction..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: pxhere