Prague – From January 2021 to October this year, 1,241 people died on Czech roads as a result of traffic accidents. Of these, 29 percent were people over 65 years old. This follows from a new report of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), which is available to ČTK. It calls on member states to adapt road safety to the needs of an aging population and increase the safety of elderly pedestrians and cyclists.
The ETSC report also highlights the increased risk of injury to the elderly in traffic accidents. An in-depth analysis of traffic accidents carried out in the Czech Republic shows that older pedestrians are more often killed or seriously injured even at lower traffic speeds. In a collision with a car traveling at speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour, a senior pedestrian has a 7.7 percent chance of being killed, compared to 1.8 percent for those under 65. At speeds between 31 and 50 kilometers per hour, a pedestrian over the age of 65 has a 24 percent chance of being killed, while a younger pedestrian has a 2.3 percent chance.
Seniors who died on the roads were most often car drivers. Their share was 40.4 percent. In the category of vulnerable road users, there were 36 percent of elderly pedestrians and almost 40 percent of elderly cyclists. “Here, it is necessary to appeal above all to the use of reflective elements, but also not to overestimate one’s own strengths,” said Veronika Valentová from the Transport Research Center, who contributed to the ETSC report for the Czech Republic.
Valentová links the growing popularity of electric bicycles to the deaths of elderly cyclists. “While for bicycles without an auxiliary motor, the share of injured seniors was 22 percent in the period January to October, it was 38 percent for electric bicycles,” she added.
Older people also walk more often than the average population. Walking makes up 53 percent of their trips compared to 47 percent of the rest of the population. Only children between the ages of five and 17 walk more often than seniors. The poor condition of sidewalks can make older pedestrians more cautious and avoid walking outside for fear of falling.
CR transport accident statistics