Many New Haven, Connecticut, readers already know that the elderly are more prone to limited hearing and poor eye sight, making them more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle. Last year, a 93-year-old man was killed in a pedestrian-auto accident. The incident happened near New Haven while the older resident was crossing the road.
In fact, a new study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign stated that pedestrians aged 60 and above are at a higher risk of being killed if hit by a vehicle. According to sources, a total of 13,209 pedestrians died across the country due to pedestrian accidents between 2009 and 2011. People aged 60 and above make up 25.7 percent of this total, despite only making up 18.5 percent of the population. During the same period, 10 of the 23 pedestrian fatalities in Fairfield County were elderly residents, nearly 45 percent, even though the same demographic is less than 19 percent of the county’s population.
The American Association of Retired Persons Connecticut and other state agencies are working to address pedestrian fatalities, stating that it is important make highways safer for the elderly and every resident. They intend to improve roadways, specifically with regards to pedestrian safety. A spokesperson for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign called on ConnDOT to identify places likely to be deadly for pedestrians. This includes areas of Route 1, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the state for pedestrians.
While highway improvements may decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities, motorists are also responsible for pedestrian safety. Unfortunately, many pedestrian-car accidents occur due to a failure to yield, speeding or inattentive driving. In the event of a pedestrian-car accident, the filing of a legal action against the negligent party may help victims and families obtain compensation for emotional and economic damages. Negligence, as a contributing factor, can be difficult to prove, but it may be possible with the assistance of a legal professional.
Source: Norwalk, “Report Finds Older Fairfield County Pedestrians At Risk,” Denise Buffa, July 19, 2013