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Why Are Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Higher Among the Elderly?

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Why Do More Elderly Pedestrians Die As a Result of Pedestrian Accidents?

elderly man with a cane walking by a busy streetSomewhat surprising, a study found that older adults actually walk less than younger adults but they face a much higher risk of dying from a pedestrian accident. The researchers said this is because older pedestrians suffer more devastating injuries after an accident and it is harder for them to recover compared to younger adults.

Additional Risk Factors:

  • Researchers also said that elderly pedestrians have a higher risk of being in a pedestrian accident due to their decline in mental function, vision and other physical disabilities that make them more vulnerable to be in an accident.
  • Researchers noted that older males had a higher risk than females of being in a pedestrian accident, and that American Indians and Alaskan Natives had the highest fatality rate while whites had the lowest pedestrian fatality rate in the country.

Where Do Most Senior Pedestrian Accidents Happen?

A majority of pedestrian accidents happen in cities due to more traffic and more pedestrians walking around. The CDC said that cities and counties need to take more preventative actions to prevent pedestrian accidents. They said safety can be increased by installing speed bumps, creating safety zones for pedestrians as well as designated areas for pedestrians that are far away from high traffic areas, and enforcing speed limits and distracted driving laws.

What is a "Senior Zone"?

Particularly in California, several cities have begun installing signs and warnings for "Senior Zones." Similar to school crossing zones and children at play areas, Senior Zones require drivers to slow down and pay careful attention to the area they are driving through. These types of zones may be installed near senior living facilities, as well as neighborhoods where the majority of the residents are elderly. These zones are intended to protect the elderly in our communities.

Senior Pedestrian Safety Tips:

Take steps to protect your loved one by ensuring they follow these basic safety tips while walking around town:

  1. Avoid walking in areas without pedestrian sidewalks or crosswalks
  2. Always walk facing traffic if there are no pedestrian sidewalks provided
  3. Wear brightly colored clothing (especially if walking at night)
  4. Give yourself ample time to cross the street, even if that means waiting a little longer for a break in traffic
  5. When crossing the street (even in a marked intersection) make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the road to make sure they're paying attention

Finally, keep a close eye out for damaged or dangerous sidewalks that may pose a tripping hazard.

Contact Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook Today!

If your loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if you have lost someone in a fatal pedestrian accident, the injury lawyers at our firm are here to help guide you forward. You may be eligible to receiving financial compensation to help offset medical bills and also help hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions. Call today to learn more!

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2735985/

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