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    Older people increasingly vulnerable on the road

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Every day, 14 road users over the age of 65 are killed or injured in an accident in Belgium, the Vias Institute pointed out on Tuesday, marking national older citizens’ day.

    The proportion of older people in the total number of those killed on the roads has “climbed considerably” since 2009, the study added.

    Last year, 4,962 persons over 65 were killed or injured in an accident, an average of nearly 14 a day. A pedestrian or cyclist was involved in half of the cases.

    Vias furthermore stated that the number of incidents involving older people has risen by 3% over the last ten years, whereas accidents involving physical injury decreased by 19%.

    In 2009, the over 65s represented 19% of deaths in road accidents, against a current percentage figure of 28%.

    The number of older persons injured in accidents involving e-bikes, an increasingly popular means of transport among this age group, has moreover doubled from 209 to 414 since 2015.

    Last year, 53 persons per million inhabitants died in traffic accidents; among older persons, the number was 79, the study additionally detailed.

    “The increased risk to older users is above all due to their greater vulnerability. Older persons’ bones break more easily and their injuries heal slower.”

    A third of serious accidents involving a car driver over 65 is caused by a medical problem: heart attacks, loss of consciousness through low blood sugar or again confusion.

    The Brussels Times