A new CDC report has found that older pedestrians are up to twice as likely to die in traffic crashes than younger pedestrian accident victims. According to the CDC’s research (available here), pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian deaths in 2010 and traffic-related deaths for pedestrians aged 75 and older are more than double those of people 34 and younger.
There are several reasons why elderly pedestrians are more likely to die or sustain serious injuries in traffic accidents than younger people are. Their bodies are more frail, so recovery from traffic accident trauma can be tenuous. Unfortunately, older pedestrians’ frailty is also a factor contributing to their increased likelihood of being involved in traffic accidents to begin with. The elderly experience physical deterioration that places them at a heightened risk of being struck by passing vehicles: their vision, mobility, and response time can all be compromised.
According to an expert at the CDC, the number of elderly who are killed while walking on our national roadways could increase as our country’s population continues to age. The CDC also urged that pedestrian fatalities can be prevented with tools such as speed bumps, enlarged pedestrian cross-walks and safety zones, and more rigorous enforcement of speeding and drunk or distracted driving laws.