Report: UMass Studies Risk Factors for Older Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities in MA

Oct 10, 2019

The number of pedestrian crashes in the United States has increased in the past two decades. According to a new report from UMass-Boston’s Gerontology Institute, the percentage of older pedestrian crash rates has also increased during that span.

Their report included specific suggestions for improving older pedestrians safety. It was prepared in cooperation with Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Office of Transportation Planning, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

The team analyzed statewide crash data collected over a ten-year period, as well as community indicators identified in the 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report.

There were 4,472 reported motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians age 55 or older between 2006 and 2015. The most frequently cited causes — all of which were attributable to the driver — were visibility issues, inattention, and failure to yield right of way.

The top four communities with the highest rates of older pedestrian collisions were Cambridge, Fall River, Lynn, and New Bedford. Researchers found that older adults between the ages of 55 and 74 experienced an increase in pedestrian crash rates.

See more information in the report, the UMass Gerontology blog, and find out about your own community by checking out the “Safety and Transportation” category in your Health Aging Community Profile.