We came across an article by Tina Susman writing for the Los Angeles Times, Crosswalks are increasingly deadly for the elderly. In the article, Susman discusses a serious problem cities across America and that is pedestrian safety. Of special concern is the safety of our increasing elderly population who are disproportionately killed in pedestrian accidents.
In 2009, there 4,092 people killed in pedestrian accidents. The rate of pedestrian deaths to the elderly — those 70 and over — is 62% higher than for people younger than 70 according to the Federal Accident Reporting System (FARS). In 37% of the fatal accidents among people age 60 or older, the pedestrian occurred at an intersection.
Susman’s article quotes Noah Budnick, the deputy director of Transportation Alternatives who says,
“… older people simply don’t have enough time to cross the street.”
One study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2002 found that marked crosswalks with out signals or stop signs were more dangerous for pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents to the elderly than those without signals or stops.
Elderly people have various problems associated with crosswalks including:
- difficulty with curbs
- difficulty in judging vehicle speeds
- confusion with the Walk, and Don’t Walk signal indicators
- difficulty seeing signal indicators
- difficulty in anticipating turning drivers
- discourteous drivers
Transportation officials are looking at ways to make walking safer for all pedestrians including street designs which slows down vehicles, improving visibility, retiming signals, creating median refuges or sidewalk “bulb-outs”, creating curb ramps, creating sidewalk seating, improving lighting and signage and improved pavement striping that will benefit walkers and drivers alike.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents and the family of those killed.