Transportation study finds older pedestrians at greater risk of injury, fatality

TRENTON – A new study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign finds that older pedestrians are far more likely to be killed while walking than those under the age of 60.

Some 130 pedestrians age 60 and older were killed on state roads between 2008 and 2010, the study showed. 

Though comprising almost 19 percent of the state’s population, people aged 60 and older accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities during the three-year period, the study found. 

Those age 75 years and older represent just 6.5 percent of the state’s population, but slightly more than 12 percent of pedestrian deaths, the study found. 

The Campaign’s analysis found that Hudson County was the most dangerous place in New Jersey for older people to walk. 

Overall, pedestrian fatality rates in New Jersey decreased across all age groups from last year’s report.

“While fatality rates dropped for all pedestrians, those walking and biking still remain vulnerable,” said Janna Chernetz, New Jersey advocate for the Campaign. “From 2008 through 2010, 436 pedestrians lost their lives on New Jersey streets.”

The Campaign praised the state for taking an active approach to pedestrian safety by adding sidewalks to a portion of Black Horse Pike, one of the state’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians, according to the Campaign.

In addition, the TTC noted that over 26 New Jersey municipalities and three counties have enacted Complete Streets policies. These policies strive to make sure that streets are designed or improved with the needs of all users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers – in mind. 

Transportation study finds older pedestrians at greater risk of injury, fatality