Pedestrian InjuriesPedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14. In 2002, 599 children ages 14 and under died from pedestrian injuries. Of these, 460 died in motor vehicle-related traffic crashes. The majority of child pedestrian deaths and injuries are traffic-related. Although pedestrian injuries are not as common as motor vehicle occupant injuries, a disproportionate number of the injuries sustained by child pedestrians are severe.
Children ages 4 and under are at the greatest risk from child pedestrian death. In 2002, children ages 4 and under accounted for more than 40 percent of pedestrian injury-related deaths. Toddlers (ages 1 to 2) sustain the highest number of pedestrian injuries. More than half of all toddler pedestrian injuries occur when a vehicle is backing up. Children from birth to age 2 are also more likely to suffer pedestrian injuries in parking lots and on sidewalks.
For all ages, traffic-related pedestrian death rates are twice as high in urban areas as in rural areas and non-traffic-related pedestrian death rates are twice as high in rural areas as in urban areas. Children living in areas that have a high population density of children, household crowding, a high housing density, low socioeconomic status, poor supervision and no safe play environments are more likely to suffer pedestrian injury.