While all pedestrians should pay extra close attention when crossing the street, it seems that Floridians need to be especially mindful.
In a new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition, Dangerous By Design 2014, a Pedestrian Danger Index was used to rank the deadliest places to walk in America. Florida is home to the top four cities, with six other southern cities finishing out the top 10:
- Orlando, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami, FL
- Memphis, TN
- Birmingham, AL
- Houston, TX
- Atlanta, GA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Charlotte, NC
You can view the full list here.
The Pedestrian Danger Index was calculated by looking at the last five years of available data on pedestrian fatalities and factoring in the number of local commuters who walk to work every day.
The report shows that 47,025 people nationwide were hit by cars and died while walking between 2003 and 2012. This number is 16 times greater than the number of Americans who died in natural disasters over the same time frame. Additionally, another 676,000 pedestrians were injured while travelling on foot, which likens to someone being hit by a car every eight minutes.
The elderly are found to be much more at risk than any other age group, according to the report. While they only represent 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population, adults ages 65 and older account for 21 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
This report shows just how dangerous busy roads and intersections can be for those walking to their destinations. The following tips are a great reminder on how to stay safe as a pedestrian:
Stay Alert. Distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving. Always look where you are going and be aware of your surroundings. In 2010, more than 1,500 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for pedestrian-related injuries resulting from distractions, especially cell phones. Keep your eyes off your cell phone when crossing the street!
Never Jaywalk. Did you know that pedestrians can be held liable for auto accidents, too? When you cross the street against a light and run into traffic, you increase your risk of being struck and potentially killed by a motorist.
Use the Sidewalk. While sidewalks may not be located in certain areas in the city, if they are available for use, please use them and do not walk in the street. If a biker is taking up the sidewalk, gently remind them that they are meant for pedestrians.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in any Florida city, please call a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton at 866-608-5529 to discuss your injuries and whether you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.