Elderly Pedestrians More than Twice as Likely to Die in Car Wrecks

December 31, 1969

Getting older brings with it many challenge but perhaps one of the most difficult for seniors to overcome is the loss of mobility. Not being able to get around any more can be devastating, especially as this can mean that it is no longer possible to live on your own. 1340621_green_man.jpg

For many seniors who are unable to drive any more due to age or infirmity, exploring other ways to get around becomes essential to continue to make independent living possible. Our Costa Mesa accident attorneys l know that sometimes these other solutions can be just as dangerous for the elderly as getting behind the wheel once they no longer can do so safely.

Pedestrian Car Wrecks Dangerous for Seniors
A senior who is no longer able to drive who wants to get somewhere on his own has few options. One option is to use public transportation, but this is an impossibility for many. In fact, Aging in Place, Stuck without Options, indicates that as many as 15.5 million seniors 65 and over have no access to public transportation at all.

With no ability to drive and no buses or subways to take, many seniors turn to their last final option that allows them to do things on their own. That option is walking. Seniors in more densely populated areas, in mixed-zoning areas and in closely packed areas are able to walk from place-to-place to get their needs taken care of and to talk to others. For many seniors, the option to walk is a lifeline that gets them out of the house as well.

Unfortunately, seniors who do decide to take a walk either for fun or out of necessity may find themselves in great risk of becoming involved in a pedestrian accident. USA Today demonstrated recently just how great the risks for seniors are. Unfortunately, based on the available CDC data, seniors ages 75 and older are more than twice as likely to die in pedestrian crashes compared with people ages 34 and under.

The Risks for Elderly Americans
There are lots of possible explanations for why more seniors die in pedestrian accidents than other populations. For example:

  • Seniors may be more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash. Impaired vision and other factors may cause seniors to do dangerous things like step in front of the path of cars.
  • Seniors may be slower to get out of the way of a potential crash. While a younger and more dexterous person could potentially jump out of the way of the path of an oncoming vehicle, a senior might not be mobile enough to escape harm.
  • Seniors may take longer to get across the street. If a senior walks more slowly and takes longer to get across, the senior is in the path of potential danger for longer.
  • Seniors may have a harder time recovering when they are in an accident. Pedestrian accident injuries that may not have killed someone younger could kill a senior because he or she is not in as good of shape.

These are just some of the many possible explanations for the fact that senior pedestrians have a death rate that is so much higher. Ultimately, all drivers, all seniors and the family members of seniors all need to come together to find solutions and keep elderly Americans safe.

Contact Howard Law, PC today, if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-872-5925.

Additional Resources:

Safe Driving Skills Prove Rewarding in Costa Mesa, California Injury Lawyers, January 14, 2013