People 65 and older account for a disproportionate 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths and 9 percent of all pedestrian injuries. That 9 percent includes more than 52,000 older adults who are treated for pedestrian injuries each year. As one of the most at-risk generations, there are some precautions you can take to prevent harm to an older adult in your life.
There are a handful of contributing factors implicated in non-fatal pedestrian injuries suffered by the elderly. An overwhelming amount of these injuries are due to falling or being struck by a car. Furthermore, many of these falls specifically involve a curb.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implores people to follow crosswalk signals and designations. If a sidewalk is not available, the CDC asks that you walk on the side of the road where you face traffic, so that oncoming cars will see you and you will see them. It also suggests carrying a flashlight or using reflective gear when walking near streets at night.
While infrastructure improvements would largely decrease this issue, these projects are difficult to get approval and funding for and involve a lengthy amount of time to complete. Instead, the elderly should focus on the suggestions above and watch their step when crossing streets, especially near curbs.