In the battle of man versus machine, it seems that minority elderly men are losing.

Between 2001 and 2010, more than 47,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States from car accidents. The Centers for Disease Control released a report analyzing the mayhem resulting from careless driving and walking. Statisticians looked at age, race, urbanization of area, and sex to evaluate who had the highest risk for becoming a victim.

Great news if you're a young woman.

The majority of these deaths (69%) were men. Although men and women walk similar distances, male pedestrians were more likely to be in collisions and were also more likely to die from them. Other researchers proposed that men exhibit riskier behavior and may walk in more dangerous settings, accounting for this difference.

People over the age of 75 had the greatest risk of dying from being hit by a car, as shown in the chart below. The CDC refrained from answering why the elderly have a disproportionately higher chance of death by car collision, but possible explanations include slower reaction times to oncoming hazards or diminished ability to see or hear oncoming traffic.

Males and older people were more likely to die from being hit by a car.

Interestingly, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest rates of traffic-related pedestrian fatalities across all age groups. Among males ages 15-54, Blacks and Hispanics had the second and third highest death rates, leaving Whites, Asians and Pacific Islanders with the lowest. More research must be done to understand why this racial and ethnic disparity exists.

The level of urbanization was also a significant factor in pedestrian deaths. In total, approximately three fourths of all pedestrian deaths in 2010 occurred in urban areas. Over 35% of all car-versus-pedestrian deaths occur in large metropolitan areas and rural areas were the safest places to walk.

Car accidents kill more than 4,000 pedestrians yearly in the United States. These numbers together with projected population increases among the elderly and racial and ethnic minorities suggest that these death rates will grow.

The full report from the CDC can be found here.

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