The Sunshine State is the Deadliest State for Pedestrians, Study Says

Going for a walk? You might be risking your life by just taking a walk down a Florida street.

Nine of the 20 ranked as the deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians are in Florida, with Orlando listed as least safe with Daytona Beach falling not far behind at number 2, and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolis ranked 14th, according to the 2019 “Dangerous By Design” study from Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition. The study uses a measure called PDI, or “Pedestrian Danger Index,” to determine which cities are most hazardous for pedestrians in the United States.

In total, nine Florida regions were among 20 U.S. metro areas deemed the deadliest for pedestrians. The top six most dangerous areas for pedestrians are located in Florida, according to the study.

Other cities that were declared as unsafe and deadly places for pedestrians are Bakersfield, CA  as number 7, Albuquerque, NM is on the 17th place, and Jackson, MS- 10th.

Pedestrian fatalities have been steadily rising since 2009, according to the report. Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by 36 percent.

There were 5,433 pedestrian deaths in Florida within the same period, which is an annual average of 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, giving the Sunshine State a PDI rating of 182. Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia followed with PDIs in the range of 145 to 117, and the safest are Ohio (39.6), New York (24.6) and the safest one is Vermont (13.8).

Why is this happening and why are the numbers so morbid?

The report says that unlike traffic deaths in motor vehicle, which decreased 6.1 percent between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian fatalities have been steadily increasing since 2009.

According the authors of the study, we are not walking more; we are only driving slightly more than it was in 2008. What is happening is that we are designing our streets mostly for the movement of vehicles. In fact, we are continuing to design our streets dangerous for all people.

Having in mind that Florida was built for speed, the Sunshine State retained its distinction as the place where a person who is walking is most likely to be struck and killed by a motor vehicle.

According to NBC Miami.

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