QUEENS, New York — An 88-year-old woman from Queens died after she was struck by a 60-year-old man driving a Ford van Sunday. The fatal pedestrian collision occurred in the vicinity of the intersection of 48th Avenue and Bell Boulevard around 1:35 p.m. New York City police officers reported that the driver of the van struck the woman attempting to cross the street while he was turning left from 48th Avenue onto Bell Boulevard. EMS rushed the severely injured woman to North Shore Manhasset Hospital, where physicians there pronounced her dead according to the New York Post. The police did not arrest the driver at the scene, and they continue to investigate.
Older pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to dying or sustaining severe injuries if they are hit by a car. Walking may be the preferred method of getting around for many older adults. Additionally, walking remains one of the best exercises for people of all ages, especially adults. Driving becomes more difficult, if not impossible, as we age. As a result, walking is for many older folks a way of maintaining some independence. Therefore, older pedestrians must be aware of and vigilant about protecting themselves on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, suggests several ways pedestrians, especially older pedestrians, can increase their safety while out walking. The NHTSA says that pedestrians must be guided by one overarching principle of safety. They call it “See and Be Seen.”
Pedestrians must realize that although they might be able to see an approaching vehicle, the vehicle might not see them. To combat this problem, the NHTSA recommends that pedestrians watch out for shadows, especially in the winter. Drivers can lose pedestrians quickly in shadows cast by vehicles, buildings, and trees. Also, the NHTSA encourages pedestrians to wear reflective material when walking at night at a minimum. Ideally, however, the pedestrian should wear material called retroreflective. During the day, pedestrians should wear clothing that helps them stand out, such as bright orange or day-glow green.
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