Burnett & Williams

A Pedestrian’s Age Increases Their Odds of Traffic Accident Deaths

A Pedestrian’s Age Increases Their Odds of Traffic Accident Deaths

A new government study shows that older pedestrians face a much higher risk of being killed in a traffic accident. The report, from the Centers for Disease Control, shows that those aged 75 and older were twice as likely to die in a pedestrian accident compared to those 34 and younger.

Although older adults take fewer walks than younger people, they are more likely to die from their injuries. Pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 11 percent of all pedestrian injuries in 2010.

CDC researchers noted that age-related decline in physical, mental and vision-linked abilities put elderly persons at greater risk. Increasing frailty makes the elderly more vulnerable to being struck by traffic.

Visions problems can also pose significant challenges for older pedestrians. The CDC recommends that senior citizens get their eyes checked every year and get corrective lenses if needed. This will not only help prevent pedestrian accidents but slip-and-fall incidents, which often result in serious injuries for the elderly.

The numbers of elderly people killed while walking is expected to increase even further, given the overall aging of the U.S. population. The report recommends that elderly pedestrians only use crosswalks to cross the street and give themselves sufficient time to get across the roadway.