Senior pedestrian fatalities in Virginia have doubled from 2018 to 2019, according to preliminary figures reported by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Seventeen elderly pedestrians, aged 66 and older, were killed in 2018 compared to 35 who were killed in 2019.
Fairfax County is the jurisdiction with the highest number of senior pedestrian deaths. In 2019, Fairfax County reported six fatalities among pedestrians aged 66 and above.
Overall, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 123 total pedestrian deaths in 2018 and 124 in 2019. In Maryland, 133 pedestrians were killed in 2018.
AAA reports that 76% of senior pedestrian fatalities in Virginia occurred on urban roads. Most of the fatal accidents also occurred around sunset and sunrise, when drivers and senior pedestrians may struggle to see due to low lighting.
Eighty-four percent of the elderly victims were within five miles of their home when they were struck and killed.
“The huge increase in senior pedestrian fatalities in Virginia is alarming. AAA reminds all seniors to cross either at intersections or clearly marked cross walks, attempt to signal drivers or make eye contact with them before stepping onto the roadway, and to wear visible clothing when walking,” Morgan Dean, Senior Specialist for Public and Government Affairs of AAA Mid-Atlantic said.
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AAA also advised motorists to always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, not to pass other vehicles stopped at crosswalks, and to be mindful when pulling in and out of driveways.