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How does age affect pedestrian deaths?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Injuries

Pedestrian accidents tend to cause serious injuries to individuals on foot, and the risk of death as a result of this type of accident is usually greater when compared to wrecks involving two vehicles.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly 20% of deaths at crash sights involve a pedestrian. While many factors contribute to these types of accidents, age can raise or lower the risk of serious injury or death.

Children and teens

Children, including pre-teens and teenagers, have a significant risk of injury or death in a pedestrian crash when compared to adult victims. This may be due to several reasons, including:

  • Drivers in larger vehicles may not see them in the road
  • Children may dart into the road chasing a pet or a toy
  • Teens may not always use crosswalks

Young people may also cut themselves off from their surroundings with noise-canceling headphones, which may make them less aware of pedestrian dangers.

Middle-aged victims

Individuals in their 30s and 40s have an overall lower risk of involvement in pedestrian accidents; however, they can occur. Most happen at dawn or dusk, when reduced visibility may occur. Individuals exercising or walking their pets also account for pedestrian injuries and deaths for this age group.

The elderly

Seniors account for a significant percentage of pedestrian accidents. They may have limited mobility and fail to cross a street before the light changes. Others may fail to notice vehicles in motion, even in their own driveways, and may walk behind a car as the driver backs out of a garage or parking space.

All pedestrian age groups can reduce the risk of injury or death by crossing at designated areas, wearing reflective clothing at night and remaining aware of their surroundings at all times.