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Recent Pedestrian Deaths Reveal Risk to Elderly

Right after the lower speed limits took effect in New York City as part of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate pedestrian fatalities, three people were killed this past weekend within a 12-hour span.  These most recent pedestrian fatalities occurred in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

In one incident, an elderly woman was crossing Conduit Boulevard near Belmont Avenue in the East New York section of Brooklyn when she was hit by a BMW.  The accident occurred around 11:40 AM on Saturday.  The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene. 

About five hours later, a 79-year old man was killed while crossing Hillside Avenue in the Floral Park section of Queens.  Police said the man was jaywalking when he was hit by a 1999 Ford Econoline van.   No charges were filed against the driver, who remained at the scene.

A woman believed to be in her 50s was crossing the Major Deegan around midnight when she was  hit near the West 179th Street exit in Morris Heights

In the Bronx, a woman was struck by a vehicle walking across the Major Deegan Expressway shortly after midnight, according to police. The driver apparently fled, but subsequently reported the accident and is cooperating with investigators. 

That senior citizens were the victims in two of the three deaths is not surprising. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that adult males ages 20 to 54 and people of both genders over age 65 are most likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents.
The good news, according to the NHTSA, is that fatalities in this age group appear to be declining nationally.  In 2003, 981 pedestrians over age 65 were killed in motor vehicle crashes;  in 2012, the number had declined by five percent, to 935 deaths.