A new study from Smart Growth America has found that between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets across the United States.
The study shows that 5,433 of those people died in the state of Florida, but an alarming 656 of those fatalities occurred in Central Florida.
That makes the Orlando, Sanford and Kissimmee metropolitan area the most dangerous place in the United States to walk, according to the report.
The top six spots on the list of most dangerous metro areas for walking in the United States are in Florida. No. 1: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, No. 2: Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, No. 3: Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, No. 4: North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, No. 5: Lakeland-Winter Haven, No. 6: Jacksonville.
The next most dangerous states for pedestrians in the United States after Florida are Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia.
You can view the full list on Smart Growth America.
Pedestrian deaths are at an all-time high. In addition to the above report, according to findings from a Governors Highway Safety Association report, pedestrian traffic deaths are at a 30-year high. According to the study, there were 6,227 traffic-related pedestrian deaths in 2018. This does not include those who were injured in pedestrian traffic-related accidents. One of the main contributing factors to this increase is distracted driving.
Pedestrian accidents are far from rare, and actually happen all too frequently in the state of Florida. Pedestrians may not only include those walking along city streets, but joggers, skateboarders, people in wheelchairs or other assistive devices, and scooters. Pedestrians also include anyone who may be on or near a roadway, such as people crossing the street to visit their neighbors, or children playing on the sidewalk.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident approximately every two hours, and a pedestrian is injured in a traffic-related event accident about once every eight minutes. Pedestrian accidents can be especially dangerous because pedestrians do not have the same protections that drivers and passengers have being inside a vehicle.
As we mentioned before, many pedestrian accidents are the result of distracted drivers who are not paying sufficient attention to their surroundings. Pedestrians are frequently struck by a car while:
- The car, truck or SUV is turning at an intersection or into a driveway or parking lot
- The pedestrian is walking through a parking lot and the vehicle is driving through
- The car, truck or SUV is backing up out of a parking space or driveway
Drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a responsible and safe manner. This duty of care is extended to motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, and so on. Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton like to point out that this means drivers should be defensive on the road, rather than aggressive.
Drivers need to be especially careful when driving through areas that are likely to have more children present, such as residential neighborhoods, school zones, shopping areas, and parks. Drivers need to be vigilant as young children are usually less aware of their surroundings and of the dangers posed by moving vehicles. Also, children are often harder to spot because of their small stature. It is equally important for parents to educate their children about the dangers of vehicles and roadways, as tragic parking lot and back-over accidents are common among this age group. Parents with young toddlers along roadways should always have them by the hand or carry them, if at all possible.
Distracted drivers that hit pedestrians usually fail to notice them crossing the street or walking behind a vehicle. Sadly, it is the pedestrian, not the motorist, who pays the price. Our Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton represent pedestrians and surviving family members who have been injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. We can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf, or a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one who has been killed in a pedestrian accident in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakeland, Daytona, Jacksonville, or the surrounding communities.