Age as a risk factor in pedestrian traffic casualties
This paper makes use of a linked hospital database, the Road Casualty
Information System (RoCIS), to examine age as a risk factor in pedestrian
traffic casualties. The database consisted of 4,290 traffic casualty records
admitted to two major hospitals in Hong Kong in 2004. Among these records,
there were 897 pedestrian traffic casualties (PTC) and 3,367 non-pedestrian
traffic casualties (NPTC). Statistically, there was no significant age difference
among the two groups. However, the severity of injury differed significantly at
the 0.05 level.
In order to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the age factor in
affecting the severity of injuries, the pedestrian traffic casualties were divided
into four age groups. A set of five injury severity variables were calculated for
different age groups. For PTC, all injury severity indicators increased by age.
The picture was less clear for NPTC. Theoretically, there are many
confounding factors, such as gender, vehicle class and injury patterns, to
injury severity. The relationships of these risk factors with the five injury
severity variables are analyzed by logistic regression. Overall, the results
clearly point to the importance of age as a risk factor. In all models, the elderly
(≥65 years) were having higher chances of serious injury and fatality. The
odd ratios imply that elderly PTC were about twice more likely to die and to
suffer from serious injury than younger ones. In addition, multiple injuries and
heavy vehicles also increased the chance of severe injury among PTC.