A vision-impaired North Albury resident is urging people to be more attentive when they’re at the wheel after a car reversing out of a driveway ran into her.
While Jeanette Newman was not seriously injured, her confidence – which is key to her ability to get around safely – has taken a hit.
The Regina Avenue resident was walking along the footpath on her street on Tuesday afternoon when the accident happened.
“I heard the slight sound of an idling motor, so I waited two minutes, but nothing happened, so I started walking,” she said.
“As soon as I went, the car hit my legs.
“When the driver got out of the car she said ‘Oh, I was watching the letterbox’.
“It could have been a lot worse.”
Ms Newman has lived on Regina Avenue since 2004 and has certain routes mapped out so she can access the supermarket and a bus stop.
“It took a bit of getting used to because it’s windy, but once I learned where everything was it was alright,” she said.
“It’s mostly pretty good – getting across the busy roads is a bit dicey, but you learn to do it with a mobility trainer.
“You concentrate on what part of the street to cross at or what part of the gutter to get off on.
“But to get hit in your own street that you’ve walked up and down for years, you do lose your confidence a bit.”
Ms Newman decided to reach out to The Border Mail about her experience after another woman told of a similar accident at the Vision Australia Albury client group meeting on Wednesday.
“One young lady with a dog got hit on a driveway too, on a double driveway,” she said.
“No matter what you do, there’s still going to be drivers that don’t look.”
A 2012 Australia-first study conducted by Vision Australia and the Monash University accident research centre found one in 12 Victorians who are blind or vision-impaired have been hit by a vehicle or bicycle while walking, while one in five reported having narrowly missed being hit.
The two organisations are now conducting new research to understand the impact of silent cars and bicycles on people who are blind or have low vision.
There has been growing concern since the introduction of electric and hybrid cars about the difficulty presented in being able to detect them.
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