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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 16, 2013

Older Transportation Workers Face Greater Risk of Dying on the Job

JAMA. 2013;310(15):1553. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278649

Traveling the nation’s highways and byways can be risky, but especially so for older adults working in transportation jobs.

Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently reported that on-the-job deaths among highway transportation workers aged 65 years or older are more than 3 times higher than in their younger counterparts. Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries showed that the occupational death rate from 2003 to 2010 was highest among workers at least 65 years old—3.1 highway transportation deaths per 100 000 full-time equivalent workers per year. In comparison, the rate was 1.4 among those aged 55 to 64 years and 0.9 among workers aged 18 to 54 years. The trend in motor vehicle fatalities, including pedestrians, for adults in the general population is very different. Rates don’t begin to increase substantially until age 75 years.