Fatal Pedestrian Accidents High Among Elderly

Somewhat surprising, the study found that older adults actually walk less than younger adults but they face a much higher risk of dying from a pedestrian accident. The researchers said this is because older pedestrians suffer more devastating injuries after an accident and it is harder for them to recover compared to younger adults.

They also said that elderly pedestrians have a higher risk of being in a pedestrian accident due to their decline in mental function, vision and other physical disabilities that make them more vulnerable to be in an accident.

Researchers noted that older males had a higher risk than females of being in a pedestrian accident, and that American Indians and Alaskan Natives had the highest fatality rate while whites had the lowest pedestrian fatality rate in the country.

A majority of pedestrian accidents happen in cities due to more traffic and more pedestrians walking around. The CDC said that cities and counties need to take more preventative actions to prevent pedestrian accidents. They said safety can be increased by installing speed bumps, creating safety zones for pedestrians as well as designated areas for pedestrians that are far away from high traffic areas, and enforcing speed limits and distracted driving laws.

Source: KPTV, "Odds of dying in traffic accident increase with age," April 19, 2013

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