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City streets fail older pedestrians

September 24, 2015

Based on numbers from the 2010 Census, and reported by the Los Angeles Times, people aged 65 and older will make up 19 percent of the U.S. population by 2030. If you are among the approximately 78 million baby boomers turning 65, you may be joining a growing sector of older Americans who are moving to urban centers and taking to the streets. The problem is, Kentucky streets have not necessarily been designed with your pedestrian safety in mind. Serious injury from motor vehicle accidents involving dangerous crosswalks and inadequate signals are a familiar issue for our staff at Gary C Johnson PSC.

As a senior adult, you may have made the choice to set your car keys aside, and get where you are going on foot. Walking is an efficient and accessible way for you to stay in shape. Uneven or too-high curbs, poorly configured crosswalks and inadequate signals can make your outings more stressful than healthful. The Centers for Disease Control states that 92.5 percent of non-fatal injuries to older pedestrians resulted from falls or from collisions with vehicles. Between 2001 and 2006, 9,000 injuries to senior adults happened when they fell from, or tripped over a curb.

The CDC reports that 20 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2012 were adults over 65. One of the issues may be that many city streets prioritize motor vehicle transportation over walkers. Your security depends on ample, well formed and clearly delineated crosswalks, with traffic signals that allow enough time for you to get completely across a busy street before traffic threatens your safety. Please visit our page for more information about right of way issues.