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Older People represent an increasing proportion of casualties

18 October 2017

The recently published  IRTAD annual report on Road Safety highlights the risk to that older people who are the world’s fastest-growing age group, and the share of people aged 60 or above is expected to reach 21% of the world population by 2050, up from 9% in 1994. At the same time, senior citizens have become more mobile than in the past and therefore more exposed to traffic risk. This creates significant challenges for road safety. The share of old people killed in traffic is already larger than their share in the total population, and it is growing. Seniors have not benefited from improved road safety at the same pace as the general population in past years. While the number of road deaths declined by 6.5% overall between 2010 and 2015 across IRTAD countries, that of senior citizens killed in crashes increased by 3.4%. More than half of the road fatalities among seniors above 65 falls into the vulnerable road users category, i.e. concern older pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Take action to ensure a safe mobility for an ageing population

Ensuring a safe mobility for senior citizens should be a priority in all countries. An integrated mobility strategy for an ageing population is needed. Its development should involve a wide range of stakeholders. Policy actions are needed to provide safe and easy access to public transport and to ensure urban planning reflects the needs of the most vulnerable road users, for instance through enhanced intersection design and traffic calming in urban areas. Improvements in the active and passive safety of vehicles should also be pursued.

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