The United States Department of Transportation recently released statistics concerning pedestrian accidents nationwide. The statistics do not include any accidents that occurred on private property.
The data reveals that across the country, the highest pedestrian fatality rate for those over the age of 60 is in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Between 2008 and 2010, pedestrian accidents claimed the lives of 435 people in that area. The 2010 statistics show a four percent increase in such fatalities over those in 2009.
In general, the risk of a pedestrian being fatally injured by a car increases as the person ages. Connecticut is a particularly dangerous place for pedestrians. According to the study, there are 64 percent more pedestrian fatalities in Connecticut than the rest of the nation.
Some say one reason is due to the rural nature of the state where pedestrians often walk in the road without the benefit of sidewalks. However, certain rural areas with a low population level are actually safer. For example, New London and Windham counties are the safest places to walk for people over 60.
In fact, nationwide, three-fourths of all fatal pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas and occur at non-intersections. Essentially half of them occur on the weekend and 30 percent between 8 p.m. and midnight.
The research indicates that certain measures should be taken to improve pedestrian safety. Walkers, runners, joggers and hikers should be aware of their surroundings. In addition, drivers need to be more alert and aware of pedestrians on the road. The study found that adding sidewalks in certain areas would improve safety. In addition, to improve safety for senior citizens in particular, the report suggested lengthening pedestrian walk signals at crosswalks, to allow individuals enough time to cross the street safely.
Source: Norwich Bulletin, "Our view: Pedestrian deaths lowest in Eastern Connecticut," August 22, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which individuals are injured due to motor vehicle accidents. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our New Haven pedestrian accident page.