TRI-STATE TRANSPORTATION CAMPAIGN
Pedestrians 60 years and older are disproportionately at risk of being killed in collisions with vehicles while walking. In the United States, those 60 and older make up 18.5 percent of the population but 25.7 percent of the pedestrian fatalities. In New Jersey, Connecticut and downstate New York, those 60 and older comprise 18.7 percent of the region’s population, yet 33.3 percent of the pedestrian fatalities.
While older pedestrians remain disproportionately represented among pedestrian fatalities overall, fatality rates for older pedestrians in the region have decreased since TSTC’s first Older Pedestrians at Risk report in 2010 (which examined pedestrian fatality data from 2006 through 2008). While this is encouraging news, more can be done to reduce pedestrian fatalities in this age group, especially in New Jersey. Older pedestrian fatality rates have dropped in Connecticut and downstate New York since TSTC’s 2012 report, but the fatality rates for pedestrians 60 years and older and those 75 and older have increased slightly in New Jersey.
Why is this an Issue?
- The U.S. population of adults 75 years and older is increasing. By 2040, this age group will have grown from approximately 18 million (2011, 6 percent of the U.S. population) to 44 million (12 percent of the population).
- Older adults are also increasingly choosing to give up their car keys and relying on walking or public transit. AARP Public Policy Institute found that “Transit use by people age 65+, as a share of all trips they take, increased by a remarkable 40 percent between 2001 and 2009.” According to AARP, “In 2009, older adults took more than 1 billion trips on public transportation (a 55 percent increase over trips recorded in 2001).
- The lack of pedestrian amenities along our region’s roads puts all pedestrians at risk, but puts older pedestrians disproportionately so.
- Older pedestrians may face a greater risk of being in a fatal collision with a vehicle because they may be less able to react quickly to an on-coming vehicle and once struck, may be less likely to recover than those younger than them.
About The Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to reducing car dependency in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Leading environmental and planning organizations formed the Campaign in the early nineties as a response to the mounting economic and environmental costs of automobile and truck dependence and promising reforms in federal transportation policy. In the nineteen years since our founding, the Campaign has enjoyed a strong record of accomplishment. Among our most notable victories are winning additional sources of revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the livable streets renaissance in New York City, the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s adoption of a smart-growth oriented transportation policy, and millions more in funding for bicycle, transit and pedestrian projects.”