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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Orange County pedestrian accidents: Are the elderly at risk?

In 2007, 4,654 pedestrians were killed in the United States. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, people over the age of 65 accounted for 19% of pedestrian fatalities. There are many reasons why elderly pedestrians may be at high risk of being injured or killed by a car. They may not move as quickly as younger people, they may have difficulty hearing or seeing, and they may stumble or fall which makes it difficult for them to be seen by drivers.
 
Just as drivers practice defensive driving to avoid accidents caused by others, pedestrians can practice “defensive walking”. These simple tips may save your life:
 
Cross at intersections. But, be aware that while intersections are the safest place to cross, there also may be traffic coming from multiple directions. Anticipate that a driver may run a red light or make an illegal turn.  
 
ALWAYS check for cars before stepping of the curb even if there a “walk” sign or green light. Check in the direction of cars and make sure that cars see you.
 
Continue to look as you cross. A stopped car may act as a visual screen keeping you from seeing a car in the next lane. Pay attention as you cross the street.
 
Allow yourself enough time to cross. If you haven’t started crossing and the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing, wait for the next walk signal. If it starts flashing while you are walking, finish crossing the street. If the signal doesn’t allow enough time to cross the street safety, contact your city transportation department and let them know.
 
Watch for vehicles that are backing out of driveways or parking lots. Look both ways when walking across a driveway or parking lot entrance.
 
Try not to walk behind parked cars. If you must walk in a parking lot, watch for brake lights and listen foe engine noises and other cues that a car is about to move.  
 
Watch for small cars that may back out from behind larger parked vehicles.
 
Be seen.  Often, when pedestrians are hit by vehicles the driver says “I just didn’t see them.” Try to make eye contact with the driver. Dress to be visible:  wear bright colors or reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, or wear a red reflector light (available at sporting good stores).  
 
Always check twice before crossing.
 
If your loved one was seriously injured or killed in an Orange County pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie. Our lawyers have the resources to carry out an investigation and make sure your loved one’s rights are protected and that they are fully compensated for their losses.  Call our Newport Beach law office at 866-981-5596.

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