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Brooklyn Seniors More Likely to Die in Pedestrian Accidents

If you are a senior citizen in Brooklyn, your chances of being killed in a pedestrian-car accident are greater than in any other borough, according to a study recently related by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

The study shows that between 2003 and 2012, 202 elderly pedestrians were hit while walking in Brooklyn. These fatalities represent nearly 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths during the years covered by the study.

Seniors are also more likely to be victims in fatal pedestrian accidents in other boroughs. However, Brooklyn had the most. In the greater New York metropolitan area, 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities were among seniors, even though they only make up 17.5 percent of the population. People age 75 and older were at greatest risk – four times more likely to die in a pedestrian accident — even though they represent only six percent of the region’s population.

According to the senior advocacy group AARP, older people are less quick or have mobility issues and cannot cross the road quickly. Decreased bone density can make the consequences of an accident worse than it would be among younger people.

The proportion of seniors in the New York metro is growing, which means that the problem will not go away any time soon. It could, however, if simple roadway improvements were implemented. Clearly marked crosswalks, longer crossing times and larger pedestrian islands in the middle of wide streets can make a difference to all pedestrians, not just the elderly, according to the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

The study covered the following 12 counties in the greater New York metro: New York, Kings, Nassau, Bronx, Queens, Richmond, Putnam, Suffolk, Rockland, Orange, Westchester and Dutchess.