Walking While Elderly, Danger Increases with Age in NY Region

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 05:26 PM

One potential safety measure, employed in Canada, is explicit signage. (photo by Marcin Wichary via flickr)

In the greater New York City region, older pedestrians are almost two-and-a-half times more likely to be struck and killed by a vehicle than those under age 60.

That's the conclusion in a new report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), which also found that elderly pedestrians in the NYC area suffer higher fatality rates than the national average.

According to the TSTC, between 2008 and 2010, 435 pedestrians aged 60 years and older were killed on the region’s roads. That age range makes up just over 18 percent of the area's population -- but accounts for 34 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

For those who walk slower, it can be difficult to cross an intersection before the light changes. That's partly why the older a pedestrian gets, the more likely she is to be hit and killed by a car. Those aged 75 years and older fared worst of all, with a fatality rate 3.09 times the rate of those under 60.

According to the report, "older pedestrians in Litchfield County, Connecticut have the highest fatality rate in the region, representing 75 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the county, but only 22.1 percent of the population."

Nassau County, Queens and Brooklyn in New York and Hudson County, New Jersey, rounded out the top five of worst counties for elderly pedestrian safety.




Comments [1]


This just demonstrates how oblivious drivers often are to pedestrians. Elderly peds do not move quickly, so any driver who hits one was simply not looking.

Signage is only a token measure at best (and distracting at worst). Streets need to be designed with pedestrians in mind--ample sidewalks, small intersections that are easily traversed on foot, and enough signal time to do so (without having to push a button and wait for 5 minutes). Most pedestrian deaths occur on streets designed to prioritize speeding traffic over safety.

Aug. 16 2012 03:49 PM

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