The elderly victim of a recent Chicopee pedestrian accident has been identified as a retired city firefighter. According to The Republic, the 77-year-old man was hit by an SUV as he attempted to cross Grattan Street just before 7:00 p.m.
The victim was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where he was later pronounced dead. Officers say that they’re still investigating, but believe that the heavy rain at the time of the accident may be a factor in the collision. No charges have been filed.
With the baby boom generation aging, we’re seeing a record number of U.S. elderly residents. With more than 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964, we’ve got serious issues regarding the lack of affordable and safe travel options for aging individuals. With more and more giving up their driving privileges, we’ve got to make sure that there are safe and convenient ways for them to get around, because no one wants to lose their independence. By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number is expected to continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive.
In the state of Massachusetts, our elderly population is expected to grow by nearly 75 percent from 2010 to 2030, according to Transportation For America.
Aging is a major life transition that typically means leaving the workforce and living on a fixed income that either does not vary over time or rises modestly to cover a portion of annual inflation. Unfortunately, aging can lead to poverty. According to Census Bureau data for 2010, a single person age 65 and older lives in poverty if he or she has an annual income below $10,458. For a two-person household, the poverty threshold rises to only $13,195. In 2009, slightly less than nine percent of older Americans (more than 3 million) fell below the poverty line, making access to affordable public transportation crucial. However, poverty alone does not fully capture the need for affordable transportation alternatives.
For those who are a little bit older and choose to walk or use public transit or to their destination, it’s critical that they do so safely. Because peripheral vision diminishes as people get older, reflexes slow and the ability to move quickly and in an agile manner decrease, it can take longer to cross road and, it is harder to deal with situations that require prompt evasive action. Wear sturdy shoes that will give you proper footing. A running or walking shoe that supports your foot from side to side is best. Use paths and sidewalks whenever available. If you must walk on or near a road, remember to walk facing oncoming traffic, so that both you and the driver can see each other. If there’s a smooth stable surface alongside the roadway, that’s also a good place to walk–just stay as far to the side as possible and look for oncoming traffic.
If you’ve got an elderly loved one in your family, check in on them. Make sure that they’re getting to and from where they need to be safely. Lend a helping hand when possible.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Staying Safe After a Winter Car Break Down, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, January 15, 2014
High Chair Head Injuries a Serious Risk to Infants, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, January 13, 2014