A study conducted by Transportation of America based in Washington D.C. from 2000 to 2009 found that although people 65 and older represent 13% of the population, they represented 22% of the pedestrian deaths. Cities like New York and Chicago are taking aim to make cities safer for elderly pedestrians to reduced pedestrian injuries and deaths. The Chicago personal injury attorneys of Zneimer and Zneimer note a high percentage of pedestrian injury clients are elderly and almost all of the crashes that caused the pedestrian injuries occurred in a cross walk.
As a response to studies showing that elderly pedestrians are at risk, cities like Chicago and New York are making changes. These changes include “countdown” signals at intersections, speed bumps, extended curbs and medians in the middle of wide intersections. One of the biggest changes advocated by Transportation for America are for walk signals to be made longer to allow enough time the elderly to cross. The assumption is that a pedestrian can cover 3.5 to 4 feet per second but the elderly typically can cover only 2.5 feet per second.