Age Effects on Injury Patterns in Pedestrian Crashes 2010-01-1164
Approximately 600,000 fatalities occur each year as a result of pedestrians being impacted by motor vehicles (World Bank, 2008). Previous studies (Heller et al., 2009) have utilized databases such as the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) to gain a more thorough understanding of the common injury patterns that occur in real-world traffic collisions involving pedestrians in the United States. The NIS contains records on five to eight million hospital stays annually and provides a wealth of information regarding injuries to hospitalized pedestrian casualties in the U.S. Because of the large number of applicable records in the NIS and the randomized sampling procedure, the data can be used to complete analyses that are not possible with smaller databases such as the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS), which is not intended to be statistically representative of pedestrian crashes in general. The current study utilizes the NIS to evaluate the effect of age on real-world injury outcomes for hospitalized pedestrian casualties. NIS data collected between 1998 and 2007 were divided into eight age categories that correspond to children (0-4, 5-9, and 10-14 years) and adults (15-29, 30-44, 45-59, 60-79, and 80 years and older). Outcomes regarding injury frequency and injury patterns, as well as length and cost of hospital stay, were evaluated and compared among the eight age categories to determine how age affects the type, frequency, and pattern of injuries sustained in pedestrian crashes.