Florida Cities Most Dangerous for Pedestrians
Florida is well known for its sandy beaches, theme parks, and generally pleasant climate that draws millions every year from around the world. On the other hand, Florida has recently become known as the worst state for pedestrian safety. Nine of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians are in Florida with Orlando ranked as the least safe for pedestrians and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolis ranked at number 14 in a report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.
Pedestrian accidents injure countless people every year across the country. The fact that Florida is considered one of the top contributors towards pedestrian accident statistics is sobering yet it would be safe to assume that the numbers will not be going down any time soon. There is no single reason why Florida is so dangerous for pedestrians. It is a complex issue where multiple factors contribute to an environment where pedestrians are at risk to be hit by vehicles.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Across the country, data has shown that pedestrian deaths have increased by 35.7 percent from 2008 to 2017 with a total of 49,340 pedestrians dying in that ten year period. So essentially, that is 13 pedestrian fatalities every single day for the whole country. The report by Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition actually notes that the statistics indicate that “It’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of people dying every single month”.
In terms of Florida pedestrian accidents, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths here between 2008 and 2017, which averages out to 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) calculated in the report is 182.0. What is concerning is how these statistics stack up against the national norms for pedestrian danger. The countrywide statistics show that there is a 1.55 average for deaths per 100,000 people and a 55.3 PDI. So Florida is pretty much double the national statistics with our other pedestrian unfriendly states having respective PDI’s of 111.9 for Texas, and 68.2 for California.
City Pedestrian Accident Statistics for Florida
Florida is home to several major metropolitan centers with large populations that travel on foot throughout the city. Naturally, some accidents occur but with Florida, the rate of these pedestrian accidents is a bit more frequent. The two largest metropolitan sprawls in the state include the Orlando metropolitan area of central Florida and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Bech metropolitan sprawl that occupies the lower east Florida coast.
Orlando saw 656 pedestrian deaths over 10 years with a PDI of 313.3 and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach seeing 1,549 pedestrian deaths and a PDI of 153.5. In comparison to not just American Cities but European cities especially, Florida cities are in bad shape. New York City-Newark is one of the most heavily walked metropolitan areas in the country yet it only has a PDI of 27.1. Washington D.C. only has a PDI of 39.7 and Chicago 34.5.
Why are Florida Pedestrian Accidents so Common?
Florida is an interesting case when it comes to why pedestrian accidents occur so frequently. Many attribute the frequency of pedestrian accidents to the infrastructure of cities. Many Florida cities are not built with pedestrian travel in mind. Rather, they are built to expedite the travel of motor vehicles at the cost of safe pedestrian features such as sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian overpasses, bike lanes, and efficient public transit.
In terms of development, Florida is very flat and spread out. Cars are definitely the preferred mode of transport for much of the population to get to and from population centers sometimes hours away. This leads to wider roads and less development of public transit. This means pedestrians have to cross roads several extra lanes in length and sometimes without some kind of designated crosswalk around. Jaywalking across multiple lane roads is one of the riskiest pedestrian accident causing behaviors someone can engage in. Pedestrians will often have few choices to navigate roads where there is fast moving traffic which greatly increases the chance of pedestrian fatality in the event of an accident.
There are several other factors that influence the number of pedestrian accidents in Florida. SUV’s and trucks are especially popular in this state and they are more likely to kill pedestrians in collisions. There is also the lack of bus or train systems that effectively move pedestrians to where they need to go like in other major population centers across the country.
Consult an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Pedestrians continue to be struck and killed every day in the United States. Pedestrian fatalities happen in every city, state, and every income level and ethnicity. Not everyone struck by a vehicle dies. Many live, but are left with chronic pain and suffering for the rest of their lives. Their injuries may lead to them losing their jobs, or seeing their family income decline as family members take time off to care for them. They may experience a reduced quality of life because their injuries keep them from the activities they love. And, of course, the emotional trauma being struck by a car stays with victims long after broken bones, cuts, and bruises heal.
Every Floridian deserves to be able to walk around their community without the fear of being struck by a speeding, drunk, or distracted driver. Dolman Law Group is staffed with highly experienced attorneys ready to assist Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater residents who have been injured in pedestrian accidents, and the families of those who have been tragically killed. We fight to recover compensation for our clients, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has experienced injury or death as the result of a careless driver, call (727) 222-6922 or contact us online today for a free consultation. Out Lawyers are happy to sit down with you and discuss the details of your case as well as what legal options are available. Dolman Law Group has the resources and experience that you will need to successfully recover the settlement that you deserve.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712