Florida Regularly Tops Rankings of Deadliest Areas for Pedestrians
Florida cities regularly appear near the top of Smart Growth America’s biannual ranking of the deadliest places for pedestrians to walk.
The “Dangerous by Design” report is based on the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the number of people who walk to work in an area. The information is used to create a pedestrian danger index. For the 2017 rankings, 104 cities and metro areas were analyzed, and eight of the top 10 were in Florida.
For context, the national average pedestrian danger index is 52.5. Below are what the top 10 most dangerous areas looked like in the 2017 rankings:
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida: 283.1
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida: 235.2
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida: 234.7
- Jacksonville, Florida: 228.7
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida: 228.2
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida: 200.6
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida: 192.0
- Jackson, Mississippi: 189.6
- Memphis, Tennessee: 153.3
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida: 148.2
Why does Florida consistently have so many cities and metropolitan areas that rank high in this report? Some believe that a factor could be the state’s unusually large percentage of older residents, who may have slower reaction times and failing vision. The state also has a large number of tourists who are more likely to walk in certain areas after consuming alcohol.
However, as recently as 2014, the pedestrian fatality rate for elders in the state was only slightly higher than the national average, and research has indicated that the accidents are, by and large, local drivers hitting local pedestrians.
So, what’s the cause? Is it distracted driving? Is it simply that the state has more pedestrians than other states because the weather is so nice? If the latter was the case, states like California, Arizona and Texas would see higher than normal pedestrian accident rates. That’s not necessarily the case.
The Florida Department of Transportation continues to implement initiatives to decrease pedestrian accidents in the state. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, consult a trusted Central Florida personal injury attorney at Largey Law.