Bert Hirschberg, a 90-year-old Boston grandmother and women’s rights activist, died while crossing Massachusetts Avenue when she was struck by a car.
Hirshberg used a walker to get around. She was crossing the avenue, located close to her apartment, when she was hit by a Toyota. Heavy rains were pouring onto the roads at the time the Boston pedestrian accident occurred.
Hirshberg was transported to Boston Medical Center, where she died the next day. The 90-year-old activist also championed local arts and underprivileged children. Police gave the driver of the Toyota that struck Hirschberg a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that of the 4,784 pedestrian deaths that took place in 2006, 966 of the victims were elderly persons, ages 65 and over. Some 6,000 seniors were also injured in pedestrian accidents that year.
One of the reasons that older pedestrians are at high risk of being struck by a motor vehicle is because their reflexes, perception, and eyesight can deteriorate the older they get. Older people also take a long time to recover from any injuries.
Safety Tips for Elderly Pedestrians:
• Cross the street at the corner or crosswalk.
• Continue to watch both sides of the street even when crossing at a crosswalk.
• Watch for oncoming traffic as you cross the street.
• Wear bright clothing that makes it easy for drivers to see you.
Although pedestrians must exercise caution when crossing the street, car drivers, motorcyclists, truckers, and bus drivers are responsible for exercising the proper care when operating their motor vehicles on the roads. It is important for drivers to be on the lookout for any pedestrians-especially at night or during rain or snow storms. When a driver’s carelessness or negligent actions, such as drunk driving, speeding, driver inattention, or driver error, leads to the serious injury or death of a pedestrian, the driver can be held liable in a Massachusetts personal injury or wrongful death case.
Activist Bert Hirshberg, 90, killed in tragic accident, Boston Herald, February 5, 2008
Focusing on the Senior Pedestrian, U.S. Department of Transportation
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