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About half of the sidewalks of Attica are dangerous for the pedestrians, especially to the elderly, due to obstructions and damages on them, according to a study published by the Athens University Medical School.
Among the 320 Attica sidewalks examined, researchers found that 64% of the sidewalks are used for car parking, 52% miss paving slabs and 47% have no paving at all. The metal and cement posts on 31% of sidewalks, which were meant to prevent unauthorized parking, only helped to further impede the pedestrians.
According to Yiannis Papadopoulos, the head of the Health Ministry’s Road Safety Committee, accidents occurring on badly paved or obstructed sidewalks are the third common reason for the hospitalization of elderly Greeks. The research findings are clear. In 2004, more than 430 people (half of them elderly) wee driven to Erythros Stavros Hospital in Athens for injuries while falling on broken sidewalks. Another 350 people who fell from sidewalks were treated in the hospital of Patras.
Apart from all these, note that only 28 of the 106 hospitals surveyed had professional physiotherapists to treat patients. The Committee also found lack of an effective system for the quick diagnosis of the injuries of sidewalk victims, resulting in unnecessary suffering to patients.