Any pedestrian near a roadway is potentially at risk, but the statistics show that older adults may especially face dangers in these situations. One study looked at the injuries and fatalities in 2013, for example, and found that 19 percent of the fatal cases involved those who were 65 and older, while 10 percent of the injuries impacted this same age group.
On top of that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that things may only be getting worse going forward, due to sheer numbers and population changes. In 2011, there were about 18 million people who were 75 years old or older, but the U.S. Census Bureau believes that this could double by 2040.
To be clear, they mean the percentage of the population could double, from 6 percent to 12 percent. The actual total will more than double, from 18 million to 44 million.
To get even more data, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System -- All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) -- was used to look specifically at those who are 65 and older. Between 2001 and 2006, when looking at those who suffered non-fatal injuries, it found that about 52,482 older adults ended up in the ER because of pedestrian injuries.
Out of this, it was determined that around 9,000 injuries involved curbs. In some cases, for instance, elderly individuals tripped. This could cause someone to fall into the roadway. This is only one example, but researchers pointed out that it showed how environmental modifications may be able to help prevent many of these accidents.
Since the elderly face such an elevated risk, it's critical for them to know their rights to compensation when they suffer significant injuries.
Source: CDC, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed Feb. 27, 2017