All pedestrians must take steps to protect themselves from motorists who are driving while distracted, impaired, drowsy, or drugged. Drivers who are reckless and negligent cause thousands of pedestrian accidents each year in the United States.

The NHTSA reports that in 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related accidents, a 9.5 percent increase over the previous year. During the same year, traffic-related crashes insured approximately 70,000 pedestrians. During 2015, 13 percent of pedestrian injuries and 19 percent of pedestrian fatalities were people 65 years of age and older.

Challenges Faced by Senior Pedestrians

Seniors have challenges as pedestrians that other pedestrians may not have that can put seniors at an increased risk for pedestrian accidents.  Some of the issues faced by seniors that can put them in harm’s way while walking include:

  • Elderly or senior pedestrians may need additional time to cross the street at intersections. Seniors may need more time than allowed by the traffic controls.
  • Elderly or senior pedestrians may have limited hearing, vision, or mobility. These limitations can prevent a senior from hearing warnings or seeing oncoming traffic.
  • Poorly maintained roads and uneven walkways can make it more difficult for seniors and increase the risk of falls while crossing the road.

Not all seniors face these issues, and some seniors have other conditions that can make walking and crossing the road more difficult. Regardless of the age of the pedestrian, motorists still owe a duty of care to avoid injuring pedestrians.

Careless and negligent motorists who cause a pedestrian to be injured can be held liable for damages sustained because of the accident. Damages in a pedestrian accident can include medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, permanent disability, and physical pain.

Safety Tips for Senior Pedestrians

Several organizations offer safety tips for senior pedestrians. Some of the safety tips from Seniors Lifestyle Magazine, Los Angeles County DPW, and the NHTSA include:

  • Cross streets in designated crosswalks or at intersections.
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight to increase visibility, especially when walking at night, dusk, or dawn.
  • Look and listen for approaching traffic. Take a moment to check a second time before stepping into the road.
  • Remain alert and avoid distractions. Traffic an approach quicker than you might think.
  • Walk with a friend or in a group.
  • Before crossing a road, make eye contact with the driver to ensure he or she sees you.
  • Do not over-estimate your walking ability.
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes when walking to reduce the risk of a fall.
  • Plan walking routes to avoid dangerous intersections or high-traffic areas.
  • Never rely on traffic signals nor assume a driver will stop when he is directed to stop. Always look for traffic regardless of the signals.
  • Watch for vehicles making right turns.
  • In addition to being careful when crossing streets, practice safety in parking lots and on sidewalks.

We urge you to visit these websites for more information and resources for senior pedestrians.

Call a Fresno Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic-related pedestrian accident, we want to help you seek justice and receive a fair amount for your claim.

For a free legal consultation with a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney, call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 or complete the contact form on our website.