There’s nothing quite like taking a leisurely yet healthy walk in the morning or afternoon. This is especially true for retired and elderly adults who are still active and take pride in their daily exercise regimen.
Yet for those folks who choose to walk or even jog along a busy and/or inner-city road like those found in Los Angeles, Chicago, and in New York City, little do they know, but they could be taking their lives into their own hands.
Says The Barnes Firm, a car accident lawyer in NYC, a pedestrian, young or old, cannot always predict the actions of someone who’s operating a motor vehicle. This means they can be susceptible to collisions with motorcycles, trucks, cars, and more. Almost every accident is caused by some level of inattentiveness and negligence on the part of the driver, be it texting, talking on the cellphone, eating and drinking, adjusting the infotainment system, or even applying makeup.
The problem seems to be getting worse.
As far back as 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, stated that pedestrians, many of them elderly, were killed in a vehicular crash every 2 hours while a single pedestrian was killed every 8 minutes.
The potential for death from motor vehicle accidents involving unknowing pedestrians is said to be massive if not at epidemic levels. Because they are unprotected, pedestrians are 1.5 times more like to be fatally wounded in a crash than the occupants of passenger vehicles.
Fact is, older adults are the most at risk for this type of accident. According to statistics, pedestrians aged 65 and older account for nearly 20 percent of accident fatalities. This means the elderly constitute ten percent of all innocent pedestrians seriously injured in collisions with motor vehicles.
Legal liability prevails in all these accidents. In many instances, drivers have been held directly responsible for the injuries and/or death of an elderly pedestrian and have been subject to the law accordingly.
In the case of negligent and/or reckless drivers who caused the accident, he or she may be sued by the injured pedestrian for damages or, in the case of death, by his surviving family. It’s important that a highly qualified car accident personal injury attorney take on the case.
Since most elderly pedestrians possess frail bodies, they are often very seriously injured or even killed in a crash with a motor vehicle. This means the victims of the surviving families have the right to “file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim” to recover losses and expenses resulting from the accident.
The good news in all of this is that older or elderly pedestrians should be able to avoid serious or fatal injuries in the event of a collision by heeding specific safety measures when walking or jogging on the roadside.
Here are just a few of these safety tips that can save lives.
- One of the most important things for an elderly pedestrian to constantly keep in mind is to See and Be Seen. You should always walk against traffic while keeping a clear eye out for motor vehicles. This is especially true when walking at dusk, dawn, and other low-light situations and conditions. Elderly walkers must also wear right clothing so they can be more easily spotted by drivers. They should also carry a flashlight if walking during the evening or nighttime hours.
- Do not walk on the road. Use available crosswalks, sidewalks, and paths. You would naturally assume that walking in the middle of the road might make you more visible to motorists, but you are a sitting duck for fast-driving and/or distracted drivers who won’t have nearly enough time to brake their vehicle before running you down.
- Elderly people tend to react and move slower than their younger counterparts. Be mindful and honest with yourself of your overall physical condition. Make certain you have all the time you need to cross the street. It’s a best practice to begin walking as briskly as possible the moment the signal switches to green.
- It’s of primary importance to be alert at intersections and cross-walks. Facts show that most elderly people are killed at intersections. Before stepping off curbs, look left, right, and the left again for oncoming vehicles prior to entering onto the roadway.
- If possible, walk with a companion or even in groups. This will not only make your walk all the more pleasurable and social, but you will increase your visibility.