Not everyone understands the risks that elderly pedestrians face in North Carolina. Hendersonville does though. According to the County’s “Walk Wise, Drive Smart” program, more than 30 percent of its population are elderly residents.
Older pedestrians have a greater chance of suffering serious or fatal injuries if struck by a motor vehicle when walking than their younger counterparts. Unsafe conditions and poor transit options contribute to the risks.
Our Hendersonville pedestrian accident lawyers understand that the number of elderly killed while walking on America’s road is expected to increase given the aging of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By 2015, more than 15 million Americans age 65 and older will live in areas where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number is expected to keep growing as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive. And that’s why officials with Transportation for America conducted the “Aging in Place, Stuck with Options” study.
Absent access to affordable travel options, seniors face isolation, a reduced quality of life and possible economic hardship
According to the study, most residents stick to where they are once they reach retirement age. When they “age in place,” they’re stuck in the places with poor transit systems and are forced to deal with an area that no longer accommodates their needs.
Improving transportation safety is the best way for officials to head off the problem. When transit is scarce, two feet are all that’s left for many of these residents. After decades of rapid growth that focused almost exclusively on speeding traffic, Charlotte, North Carolina officials thankfully decided that they needed to rethink their street design guidelines.
Before the roadways were redesigned, the area didn’t have bike routes or a complete sidewalk network and suffered from limited connectivity and far too many cul-de-sacs. In the beginning of the 2000s, officials with the Charlotte Department of Transportation started building a street network design to help meet the needs of more travelers — including pedestrians.
The goal was to make getting around a lot easier and safer for everyone. But is it working?
We need to be on the lookout for our elderly pedestrians — in all areas. The reflexes and abilities of these travelers are diminishing and they’re less likely to react to roadway dangers. That’s why we have to stay one step ahead to help preserve their safety.
If you have an elderly family member, check in with them. Is there anything they need? If there any way you can help? Working alongside our seniors can help to preserve their safety and to keep them in our lives that much long. After all they’ve done for us, it’s the least we can do for them.
If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Woman Killed in South Carolina Pedestrian Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 21, 2013
Spate of Fatal Pedestrian Crashes Reported in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 3, 2013