Are older Americans more likely to die in traffic accidents?

Pedestrian accidents are particularly devastating because people often have nothing to protect them from the impact of a powerful motor vehicle. Pedestrians in New York City and beyond often suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries when they are involved in a traffic accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47,000 people died in pedestrian accidents between 2001 and 2010. Many of the accidents happened in large cities. Despite walking less than younger people, data suggests that people age 75 and older are more likely to suffer fatal injuries when they are involved in pedestrian accidents.

The CDC says that because of their age it may be harder for older people to recover from their injuries. In addition, older Americans may be more likely to be involved in accidents because of reduced visual and physical functionality as well as a decline in mental alertness.

About 34,000 people die in this country each year in traffic accidents. About 4,000 of those deaths are pedestrians. The CDC believes more should be done to protect pedestrians from serious injury. For instance, it may be wise to install speed bumps on certain streets to reduce speeds.

Drivers should always take precautions to keep themselves and others safe. They should be sure they are paying attention to the roadway and following traffic laws. When drivers are negligent and cause serious traffic accidents they should be held responsible. Accident victims in New York City and beyond may be able to pursue legal action against reckless drivers.

Source:, “Odds of dying in traffic accident increase with age,” April 19, 2013


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