Senior Drivers, Bicyclists and Pedestrian Behavior Related with Traffic Accidents and Injuries 2017-01-1397
While accident data show a decreasing number of fatalities and serious injuries on European Union (EU) roads, recent data from ERSO (European Road Safety Observatory) show an increasing proportion of elderly in the fatality statistics. Due to the continuous increase of life expectancy in Europe and other highly-developed countries, the elderly make up a higher number of drivers and other road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians whose mobility needs and habits have been changing over recent years. Moreover, due to their greater vulnerability, the elderly are more likely to be seriously injured in any given accident than younger people. With the goal of improving the safety mobility of the elderly, the SENIORS Project, funded by the European Commission, is investigating and assessing the injury reduction that can be achieved through innovative tools and safety systems. The first step was to develop the required understanding of accident scenarios, injury mechanisms and risks and to implement these findings in the test tool and test assessment procedures. To this end, accident databases were studied and compared regarding the more critical accident scenarios involving the elderly and their injuries as well as their behavior and the transport modes that represent higher risk. This paper presents a novel statistical study of the accident database in Spain and provides an overview of the main accident situations involving elderly drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians as well as the most typical causes of injury and its severity. Moreover, the in-depth analysis of scenarios, actions and law violations carried out makes it possible to identify the travelling behavior of the elderly. Differences between ages and gender were also identified. The conclusions match with general beliefs and with literature information. Finally a general comparison with results from other countries was done.