The Tri-State Transportation Campaign recently released a study ranking the Bronx as the third most dangerous county in the area for senior pedestrians. The study targeted fatalities among pedestrians aged sixty and older, and found that, per capita, the Bronx ranked behind only Putnam County and Hudson County, NJ in senior pedestrian deaths. Overall, fatalities among senior pedestrians have dropped over the past decade, thirty seniors were killed in pedestrian accidents over the years of the study (2009-2011).
As we often discuss on the New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, accidents involving seniors often carry much more serious ramifications than the same accident would in a younger individual. Fractures and other injuries among the elderly tend to heal at a slower rate than for non-seniors. Additionally, time spent immobilized due to such injuries can lead to both physical and cognitive decline for senior citizens. It appears from the survey that the results detail only those seniors who died as a direct result of a pedestrian accident. If deaths as a result of physical decline after an accident were counted, this number may be even higher.
A takeaway from this study could be that seniors must be aware of their surroundings when out walking. Another must be that these seniors’ caretakers must make sure to oversee their loved ones’ physical and mental state. While many seniors have no desire to relinquish their independence, caretakers must ensure that their loved ones are able to safely walk the streets without assistance. Although it may be difficult for a senior citizen to admit that they need additional care, a time may come when this assistance is truly in the senior’s best interests.
Additionally, the author’s report offered the following: “Relatively low-cost and quick to implement roadway improvements such as curb ramps, well-marked crosswalks and wider pedestrian crossing islands can protect the lives of all pedestrians — from the very young to the very old,”
A story detailing the results of the study can be found here in the NY Post.