Tri-state region pedestrians aged 60 years and older are disproportionately at risk of being killed in collisions with vehicles while walking, according to a new study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
From 2003 through 2012, 1,492 pedestrians aged 60 years and older were killed on Connecticut, New Jersey and downstate New York roads, according to Older Pedestrians at Risk: A Ten Year Survey and Look Ahead, released today. The report found that:
- Those 60 and older comprised only 18 percent of the region’s population, but accounted for 35 percent of pedestrian fatalities during the 10-year period
- Those aged 75 years and older represent 6 percent of the tri-state region’s population, but 16.5 percent of pedestrian deaths.
- The pedestrian fatality rate for the region’s residents 60 and older is 2.5 times higher than that of residents under 60.
- For residents 75 and older, the pedestrian fatality rate is more than three times that of those under 60.
According to AARP, decreased bone density exacerbates injuries sustained by seniors. Coupled with mobility issues that hinder their ability to cross a road quickly, this age group is particularly prone to critical injuries from car collisions. However, simple roadway improvements – clearly marked crosswalks, longer crossing signals and wider pedestrian islands – make walking safer and easier for older residents and younger residents alike.