Older Texans have higher pedestrian fatality rates, study says

Austin, TX _ A new study finds the fatality rate among older pedestrians is higher than that of other Texans afoot.  The Texas Department of Transportation funded the study, which was released this week.

It finds that, from 2002 to 2005, the state's overall pedestrian fatality rate was 2 per 100,000. That's 17 percent higher than the national rate.  Among older Texans, the per-100,000 rate was 2.7.  That's 35 percent higher than the overall state rate.

The national rate during the period was 1.7 per 100,000.  Nearly half of the older adults were killed in the state's seven major metropolitan counties of more than 500,000. Among the largest counties, El Paso had the highest per-100,000 fatality rate among older pedestrians at 4.58.

The study shows that the higher fatality rate among older pedestrians partly results from age-related body changes that increase the likelihood of death when an older person is struck by a motor vehicle.

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