Elderly pedestrians are at a much higher risk of being killed in accidents in the United States, not just because there are more pedestrians these days than in decades past, but also because streets and crosswalks have not been designed with their safety in mind.
Elderly persons are expected to account for close to 19 % of the population of the United States by the year 2030. They currently account for 13% of the American population, but make up a staggering 22% of all pedestrian accident fatalities.
There are several factors contributing to this high rate of pedestrian fatalities involving seniors. For one, the average American can expect to live for 78.3 years, which means there are a lot more seniors alive today. These seniors are increasingly active and mobile, and many of them choose to walk to exercise. Also, many of them choose to live in urban areas, where there is easier access to medical care, and a strong sense of community, in short, the things that they need for a healthy life.
Indiana personal injury attorneys believe that pedestrian safety concerns involving seniors are likely to explode in the years ahead as the senior population increases. However, it’s not just a bigger population that is responsible for this disproportionate risk of fatal accidents involving these people. It’s also the fact that crosswalks have been designed for younger people, who can move fast and cross quicker. It’s also the fact that most of our roads have been designed for fast automobiles, and not pedestrians. Back when these roads were designed, there were fewer pedestrians on our streets.
Over the next couple of years, the elderly population in the country is expected to increase dramatically. Our traffic planning and road design strategies over the next couple of years should reflect this fact.