Earlier this month in Shrewsbury, an elderly pedestrian was struck by a silver motor vehicle in a hit-and-run collision. Police are still looking for the suspect. Did you know that elderly pedestrians have a higher risk than others of dying from motor vehicle collisions? The CDC analyzed ten years of data from the National Vital Statistics System and discovered that older pedestrians and minorities are more likely to be struck by vehicles and killed. It is the worst for those 75 years of age and older and for American Indian/Alaska Natives. In another study by the CDC, pedestrians 65 years of age and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in 2012, even though they were only about 13.3% of the population at the time.
Elderly Pedestrians are Particularly Vulnerable
Pedestrians get injured by vehicles far too often, but public roadways are particularly dangerous to elderly pedestrians. According to CDC analysis, 92.5% of injuries to elderly pedestrians were the result of an older adult falling (usually over a curb) or being hit by a motor vehicle. The CDC called for transportation and mobility improvements as a result of its analysis.
The following are some ways elderly pedestrians can prevent being struck by motor vehicles, according to the CDC and the NHTSA.
- Elderly pedestrians should wear reflective clothing and carry flashlights when walking at night. The flashlights will help them to see sidewalk dangers and the reflective clothing will help them to be seen.
- Consider situations when drivers may not see you. For example, notice vehicles backing up in parking lots, vehicles emerging from alleys or driveways, or when you are crossing a street in the middle of the block where cars parked alongside the street may conceal you. Also notice when there is low lighting due to clouds or a setting sun.
- Elderly pedestrians should always use designated walkways and crosswalks so as not to surprise drivers, particularly given that elderly pedestrians have slower reflexes and can not respond quickly to emergencies. However, a fair number of pedestrian collisions take place in the crosswalk so remain watchful.
- When an elderly pedestrian cannot use a sidewalk, he should walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
- An elderly pedestrian should be aware of the relative danger of different settings. Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban settings, not at intersections, and at night. Although, elderly pedestrians appear to die at intersections more commonly than other pedestrians, according to the NHTSA.
- Walk in groups as this increases visibility.
- Report problems like speeding drivers, non-yielding drivers, missing sidewalks, or broken signal devices at intersections.
- Choose walking routes that are safe: roads with clear, unobstructed sidewalks, wide and relatively short crosswalks, speed bumps, simple intersections, etc.
- Elderly pedestrians should always be aware of how they are feeling, whether they are able to make the trip, how the drivers are behaving, and whether conditions are changing.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Whether you are an elderly pedestrian struck by a car or an elderly occupant of a car, the Worcester pedestrian accident attorneys at Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law can help you in your personal injury case. Call the office at 508-755-7535 and consult with Attorney Ventura about your legal claim.
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