< Statistics are clear – senior citizens face a higher risk as pedestrians than other age groups.
Approximately 25% of all pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States involve senior citizens. Going back as far as 1975, No change has been seen in regards to senior citizens fatalities in pedestrian vs. auto accidents, despite a decrease in fatalities reported in regards to younger age groups. The oldest members of our community continue to have the highest injury and death rates of all pedestrians.
North Texas has one of the fastest growing “pre-senior” population (age 55-64) in the nation and also ranks high in senior (age 65+) population growth. Over the next several decades, the 65+ population is expected to continue to grow rapidly both in number and as a share of the population.
A growing senior population brings new opportunities and challenges.
As we age, the majority of us share a common goal: to live independently and safely in our own homes and engaged in our communities for as long as possible. But without an effort to determine and change the root causes of the number of older citizens injured in San Antonio Pedestrian Accidents, there will likely be even more serious injuries and deaths as the number and percentage of senior citizens increases.
Physical limitations may play a role in the this skewed statistic. Senior citizens should by all means keep up physical activity such as walking as the health and emotional benefits outweigh the risks of an auto vs pedestrian accident. Some elderly Americans have limited vision and hearing and thus may be less alert to the traffic around them. Limitations in peripheral vision may prevent elderly ones from seeing oncoming traffic. Additionally, overall vision changes due to the aging process may make it difficult to judge traffic distance and speed. Pre-existing spinal and neck issues can cause some senior citizens to become permanently stooped over or without the ability to turn or lift their neck/head to properly see traffic conditions around them. Additionally, some seniors may have smaller physical frames making them less visible to motorists.
Drivers are often fail to take a pedestrian’s age and abilities into account.
While the driver of a motor vehicle is required in most cases to yield to pedestrians in Texas, some either just don’t see the pedestrian until it is too late, or even try to drive around the pedestrian. Texas drivers that attempt to drive around a senior citizen or time when they can safely pass, often inadequately take into consideration that elderly pedestrian may be slower in crossing a street and drivers may fail to react accordingly when slowing or braking. When a senior citizen is facing a three thousand pound (or greater) motor vehicle barreling towards them, they are often physically unable to move to get out of the way in the same manner in which a younger individual could. What is worse, while the injuries caused to an pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle are nearly always life threatening, senior citizens have the greatest difficulty surviving those injuries, take far longer to recover, and are more likely to face injuries that limit their mobility for the remainder of their lives.
Senior Citizen Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths can be prevented.
The following are examples of ways to significantly lessen the likelihood of a pedestrian being hit by a car:
- Make eye contact as much as possible with drivers.
- Avoid trusting the system. Many kind drivers who wave us on may lead us to ‘expect’ such behavior from all drivers. Don’t!
- Use marked crossings if possible when crossing streets.
- Carry a flashlight if walking in the early morning or dusk and/or use a headlamp.
- Avoid wearing black and other dark colors.
- Wear reflective clothing such as a reflective vest.
- If possible, exercise or walk in places set aside for this purpose.
- If walking on streets, use sidewalks as much as possible.
- Elderly ones of short stature may wish to carry a lightweight, small, reflective orange flag to help makes them ‘visible’ when crossing in front of high vehicles such as buses and SUV’s.
- When there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- If walking for health, get a buddy. Two people are more visible than one!
The pedestrians increased ‘vulnerability’ requires motorists exercise great caution. Yet, inattentive and careless motorists on the roadways are the primary cause of accidents involving elderly pedestrians. Negligence and gross negligence remain the root of senior citizen and pedestrian collisions. If you find that you are a senior who was hit by a car, don’t allow the insurance company to bully you into feeling like the accident was your fault.
Types of Injuries in accidents involving pedestrians
Pedestrians have no protection from injury in a collision with a motor vehicle, and the injuries they suffer are often serious, catastrophic or even fatal. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Spinal cord injury.
- Limb loss and traumatic amputation.
- Internal injuries.
- Fractures, such as a broken leg, arm, rib or pelvis.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Sprained or torn ligaments.
- Contusions, lacerations and abrasions.
In the unfortunate event of an accident between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, pedestrians will suffer severe bodily injury or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in San Antonio or other Texas city, Board Certified Attorney Aaron A. Herbert can help. The personal injury accident lawyers at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert have helped injured pedestrians or surviving family members hold negligent parties accountable for recklessness or wrongdoing. Please do not wait to contact us if you or someone you care about has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Texas. There is a specific amount of time in which you can take legal action and you do not want to forfeit your rights by waiting too long to speak with a lawyer. Contact Us today for a free, confidential consultation.