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Pedestrians: The Older, the Higher the Risk

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Not only are pedestrian fatalities rising, but the older you are, the higher your risk of being hit while walking.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 3 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2010 and 2011. This follows a 4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2010.

Taking note of the disturbing trend, government agencies, including the NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration, teamed up to fund grants to high-risk cities for pedestrian safety improvements and create a helpful website for individuals and educators.

Compounding the problem, statistics show that pedestrians age 65 and older represent 19 percent of all pedestrians injured in 2011. A 2013 morbidity report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes pedestrian death rates generally increase with age.

According to the CDC, communities interested in improving pedestrian safety should consider:

  • Better enforcement of speed limits and pedestrian right of way
  • Rerouting of pedestrian traffic to car-free zones
  • Higher-visibility crosswalks and higher-profile medians

The older the pedestrian, the longer it takes to cross a street. Oftentimes, even middle-aged pedestrians are halfway across a street when the pedestrian walk signal changes. Accommodations to safety and age are essential if pedestrian injury rates are to level off or decrease in coming years.

When on foot, walk without distraction, and do not count on cars stopping for you, even in a crosswalk. If injured in a pedestrian accident in Raleigh, seek experienced legal advice.

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