Pedestrian accidents can often be fatal, as the human body simply cannot take the kind of impact encountered from a collision with an automobile – even when the crash happens at a slower speed. Having pedestrian accidents occur in a designated crosswalk makes the situation even worse, as cautious drivers should be on the look for pedestrians.
Oahu has suffered three pedestrian deaths in three days over the past week and several more this year. Many of those involved were seniors. As we recently wrote on this blog, a report by Smart Growth America found that Hawaii is the most dangerous state for pedestrians 65 and older. The question becomes, what can be done to address the issue? Irresponsible drivers can be held liable when they harm a pedestrian through disregard for safety.
According to Hawaii News Now, this is a quick summary of the three fatal pedestrian accidents which occurred in Oahu:
Sadly, these are not the only pedestrian accidents as of late. In February, a 71-year-old woman died after she was hit by a garbage truck at about 5:50 a.m. in a marked crosswalk on North King Street and Gulick Avenue.
Another accident in February, involved a 67-year-old woman who was returning from an early morning walk when a pickup truck driver struck her in a crosswalk on North King Street between Gulick Avenue and Mokauea Street. She suffered critical injuries and died later at the hospital.
A recent AARP study showed that Hawaii was the worst state when it came to the number of deaths involving pedestrians age 65 and over.
In fact, adults age 65 and older comprise just 13.7% of Hawaii’s population, but accounted for nearly 42% of pedestrian fatalities across the state from 2003 to 2010.
According to Bruce Bottorff of AARP Hawaii, “There are certain areas and certain crosswalks that do, unfortunately, exhibit a higher danger rate. We’ve also known that we’ve got a population that’s aging rapidly and that the number of vehicles on the road tend to increase as well, so we’ve got a dangerous mix here.” He believes that more education for drivers and pedestrians is needed, as the potential for accidents keeps increasing.
AARP Hawaii Director of Outreach, Jackie Boland, said that the report shows that Hawaii still has a long way to go. She commented, “Given the dangerous mix of vehicles and pedestrians on our roadways, combined with the rapid aging of our population, we have a responsibility to the public to be both vigilant and proactive on this issue.”
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of loss of wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Contact an experienced Hawaii personal injury attorney to review your situation and determine your legal options so you get the compensation to which you’re entitled.