Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, according to one study by Smart Growth America highlighting metropolitan areas that pose a particular threat to walkers. In fact, eight of the top 10 pedestrian-unfriendly cities in the country are located in the state. The survey brings together statistics about pedestrian fatalities, walking rates and other issues to compare various regions. The five most dangerous cities on the list were Orlando, Daytona, Palm Bay, Sarasota and Lakeland.
The only non-Florida cities leading the group were in California and Mississippi. However, while Florida statistics were particularly troubling, the report pointed to increasing threats to pedestrian safety across the country. The number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes rose by 35 percent across the country from 2008 through 2017. During that period, nearly 50,000 people lost their lives while walking, around 13 people every day for the full decade. Indeed, pedestrians now make up a greater share of the total number of people killed in car crashes. In 2008, pedestrians constituted 11.8 percent of all roadway fatalities, but by 2017, that number was 16.1 percent.
Researchers said that Florida and other Sun Belt states can be particularly hazardous for pedestrians because of the design of cities in the area. Locations are often spread out, requiring people to drive from one place to another. This is exacerbated by a lack of reliable public transportation. In addition, pedestrian accidents are twice as likely in low-income areas.
People who have been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident may need to have extensive medical care and treatment, and in many cases they are unable to return to work for prolonged periods. When the accident was the fault of the motorist, victims might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for their losses.