ABSTRACT: It has been established internationally that road traffic accidents (RTAs) involving older drivers follow clearly different patterns of timing, location and outcomes from those of younger age groups. Older pedestrians are also a vulnerable group and fewer analyses have been undertaken of the phenomenology of their injuries and fatalities. We studied the pattern of pedestrian RTAs in Ireland over a five-year period with the aim of identifying differences between older pedestrians (aged 65 or older) and younger adults.
We examined the datasets of the Irish National Road Authority (now the Road Safety Authority) from 1998-2002. We analysed patterns of crashes involving older pedestrians (aged 65) and compared them with younger adults (aged 18-64).
Older people represented 36% (n = 134) of pedestrian fatalities and 23% of serious injuries while they only account for 19% of total RTAs. Mortality in RTA is more than doubled for older pedestrians compared to younger adults (RR 2.30). Most accidents involving older pedestrians happen in daylight with good visibility (56%) and in good weather conditions (77%).
Older pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in RTAs. These occur more frequently during daylight hours and in good weather conditions. This may point to a need for prevention strategies that are targeted at the traffic environment and other road users rather than at older people.
Gerontology 11/2009; 56(3):266-71. · 2.78 Impact Factor