Introduction: In 2017, seniors sustained 50% of pedestrian deaths despite constituting only 15% of the population. Additionally, 6% of all severe traffic-related injuries were borne by individuals with physical disabilities – 50% of whom are seniors. Vision Zero (VZ) is a traffic-safety policy aimed at eliminating traffic-related fatalities and creating safe transportation systems that protect the most vulnerable. This VZ study utilizes a novel dataset linking hospital and police reported transportation injury data to map injuries to seniors and people with disabilities relative to locations they commonly frequent (“attractors”) and explores injury patterns around these areas to help prioritize injury prevention interventions.
Methods: Injury records from 2013-2015 were pooled from police, EMS, and trauma registry data. Attractors (libraries, para-transit, senior centers, public health facilities) were identified through community outreach. Injury and location data were mapped using ArcGIS.
Results: 461 injured seniors and individuals with disabilities were identified. Majority (52%) of injuries occurred within 500ft of an attractor. There was no statistical association between injury near an attractor and gender or race. However, injuries occurring close to an attractor were more likely to be severe (ISS>15, p=0.001). They were also more likely to occur in areas with high population densities of seniors or individuals with disabilities (p<0.0001) and in areas with higher concentrations of low-income residents and people of color (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: This study identifies attractors as predictors of injury among seniors and individuals with disabilities and underscores their utility to help prioritize traffic-related injury interventions, including for Vision Zero initiatives.