The plight of the elderly when it comes to safe transportation has been very well documented by experts. It is clear that most elderly Americans will reach a point at some time in their lives when they are no longer able to drive safely. Unfortunately, walking often becomes out of the question at some point as well due to mental or physical infirmity. This can leave elderly individuals with no option but public transportation if they want to get around and don’t have family to rely on.
Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options, revealed that there will be 15.5 million adults ages 65 and up living in U.S. communities where there is no public transportation option available. Our Boston car accident lawyers know that the lack of public transportation, coupled with the inability to walk or to drive safely, puts many older seniors in a very bad situation. Often, these seniors will choose to take on risks when they need to get somewhere. This is inherently dangerous, but a new recent study shows just how dangerous it is for the elderly.
Elderly at Great Risk of Dying in a Car Wreck
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts studies on many important pressing issues. One such issue recently tackled was the dangers that elderly Americans face as a result of their mobility.
As reported by USA Today, car accident fatalities from 2001 to 2010 were studied by the CDC in order to get more answers about the dangers that elderly adults face as pedestrians.
By analyzing the crash data from 2001 to 2010, experts were able to determine that:
- Pedestrians account for 4,000 of the approximately 34,000 traffic related deaths in the U.S. annually.
- Those ages 75 and up had more than twice the traffic-related death rate in pedestrian accidents than those who were aged 34 and under. Both older men and older women are more susceptible to traffic fatalities than younger men and younger women.
Older adults, therefore, are at greater risk of car accident deaths as pedestrians. These older adults are not just in danger of getting hurt if they drive past their prime but are also in danger if they decide to walk somewhere since they have no other way to get around.
Why Are Elderly Pedestrians More Likely to Die in a Wreck?
In general, older adults and senior citizens in the U.S. have been shown to take fewer walks than those who are younger. Unfortunately, when the elderly do walk and are involved in a car wreck, they are far more likely to die than younger adults.
There are many reasons why the death rate for older adults in car wrecks is twice the death rate for younger people. Age-related physical and mental disabilities may make the elderly more likely to become involved in a crash. When they are involved in a wreck, their physical infirmities may increase the chances of death.
Unfortunately, with few options, the elderly may continue to take dangerous risks both when walking and when trying to drive after they are no longer capable. Those with older relatives should be aware of the higher risk of car accident deaths among those ages 75 and older and should try to do everything possible to make sure elderly family members have safe transportation to take them where they need to go.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Daydreaming on the Way to Work Could be Deadly , Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, April 11, 2013.