Publication Details

Analysis of elderly pedestrian accidents and recommended countermeasures

Type: article

Author(s): Zegeer, Charles V.; Stutts, Jane C.; Huang, Herman; Zhou, M.; Rodgman, Eric

Pages: 128


Publication Date: Jun-1996

Journal: Journal of Safety Research

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

Issn: 00224375

Doi: 10.1016/0022-4375(96)86964-7

Abstract: A study was carried out to create a better understanding of the causes and characteristics of motor vehicle crashes involving older pedestrians and to present information on appropriate interventions to reduce the problem. Detailed analyses by pedestrian age were carried out on more than 26,000 pedestrian crashes occurring in North Carolina over 11 years. A parallel analysis was also conducted on more than 70,000 fatal pedestrian crashes nationwide from theFatal Accident Reporting System . Results showed that on a population basis, older pedestrians (65 or older) are slightly less likely than younger pedestrians to be struck by a motor vehicle; however, this statistic does not take into account the amount of walking, accident location, and so forth. Once struck, older pedestrians have a much higher likelihood of being killed (20%) compared with 5-10 percent for younger age groups. Pedestrians 65 or older are over represented in crashes during daylight hours, on weekdays, and in winter. Older pedestrians are also over represented in intersection crashes (particularly involving turning vehicles) and in crashes involving wide street crossings. Alcohol involvement, however, was less likely for older pedestrians than for most younger age groups. Results of the analysis were used to target specific countermeasures. A variety of educational, enforcement, and roadway improvements were recommended to reduce the annual toll of injuries and fatalities to older pedestrians.