Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pedestrians Killed by Motor Vehicles

The next time you dash across a busy street, think about this: between 2001 and 2010, an astonishing 47,392 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles. That's 1.58 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

Not surprisingly, the pedestrian death rate is higher in large metropolitan areas (2.01 deaths per 100,000 people per year) than in small metros (1.38) or nonmetropolitan areas (1.47). Males account for a disproportionate 7 out of 10 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles, and the male death rate is more than twice the female rate (2.29 versus 0.92).

Interestingly, among both males and females the risk of pedestrian death rises with age. It peaks among men aged 85 or older, at 6.35 per 100,000 men in the age group—more than three times the overall rate. Behind the higher pedestrian death rate of older Americans is the fact that "older adults take longer than younger adults to cross roadways," says the CDC. Also, older adults are more likely to die from their injuries, and cognitive declines may cause older adults to take greater risks. Knowing these facts may make you a bit less impatient the next time you sit in your car waiting for an elderly pedestrian to hobble across the street.

Source: CDC, Motor Vehicle Traffic-Related Pedestrian Deaths -- United States, 2001-2010

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