They are among the most vulnerable people in society. And, according to a new report in the Daily Press, wheelchair users fear they are facing increased dangers from distracted and intolerant drivers.
Judy Head from Newport News, Virginia (VA), who has been wheelchair-bound for 18 years and is a member of the Newport News Mayor's Committee on Disabilities, told the newspaper she was surprised more disabled people aren't hurt in Hampton Roads.
"Whenever you're crossing a road or parking lot you are taking your life in your hands," she told the newspaper. "It is extremely scary."
She called for sidewalks and crosswalks to be improved and for education clinics to be held to help people in wheelchairs and other members of the public.
Our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have reported on a spate of accidents and deaths involving people in wheelchairs. Recently a man in a wheelchair was killed crossing W. Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, VA. This case became a criminal investigation and a wrongful death issue when a woman was later charged with hit and run.
See this video of a recent accident involving a man in a wheelchair in Hampton.
Last year, an SUV struck a woman in a wheelchair as she crossed a road in Suffolk, VA. Earlier, in 2009, our attorneys reported on a harrowing case in West Virginia (WV) in which a man died when he was hit by a tractor trailer while crossing a road in Kenova and dragged for two blocks.
While police in Hampton Roads say there is no evidence accidents involving disabled people are rising, the stories of wheelchair bound people suggest many of them fear they are taking their lives into their hands every time they cross the road.