TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A group that studies transportation issues in New Jersey, southern New York and Connecticut finds the risk of being killed while walking rises with age.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign says older pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be killed by cars or trucks than
those under age 60.
In a report issued Wednesday, the group found older people are less agile and may be unable to quickly get out of the way of oncoming vehicles. Crosswalk signals sometimes change too quickly to accommodate older pedestrians.
“We looked at federal data over a three-year period from 2008 to 2010 and what we looked at was the pedestrian fatality rate for people 60 years and older,” Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, told WCBS 880.
Two-thirds of the older people who are killed die on roads with two or more lanes in either direction.
In New York, the report found people aged 60 and older accounted for nearly 37 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities during the three-year period.
“Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan are all in downstate’s top five most dangerous counties for senior pedestrians,” Nadine Lemmon, the Campaign’s Albany legislative advocate, said in a statement.
Nassau County was deemed the most dangerous place for older people to walk in New York’s downstate region.
“Nassau County has many arterial roads which are generally four lanes wide, they have high speed limits and very few pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks, crosswalks, extended cross signals that would benefit people such as seniors who take a little bit longer to cross wide streets,” Vanterpool said.
In New Jersey, nearly 30 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities between 2008 and 2010 were aged 60 and older.
The report did find that overall, pedestrian fatality rates are down in the Garden State. However, officials said more can be done.
“While fatality rates dropped for all pedestrians, those walking and biking still remain vulnerable,” Janna Chernetz, New Jersey advocate for the Campaign, said in a statement. “From 2008 through 2010, 436 pedestrians lost their lives on New Jersey streets.”
In Conn., older pedestrians accounted for over 36 percent of the total fatalities during the three-year period.
The group recommends keeping pedestrians in mind when designing new roads and making the most dangerous intersections more senior-friendly.
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