Florida is Most Dangerous State For Pedestrians

On Behalf of | May 24, 2011 | Car Accidents

Florida Leads the country in Pedestrian Danger Index. While Orlando led the way in the Pedestrian Danger Index, Miami led the way in the number of deaths between 2000-2009 at 1,555.

Transportation for America calculated its Pedestrian Danger Index which, among other things, considers the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the amount of walking in cities around the nation.

Central Florida led the list this year, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale. The state placed four areas in the top 10, more than Texas, which had two, or California, which had one.

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, The organization, which pushes for alternative forms of transportation, argues that many pedestrian deaths are predictable and the result of design standards that elevate the car above all else.

Roads are built wide to move traffic quickly and safely, the authors say, and there is little regard for people who walk or bike.

Pedestrian deaths are “typically labeled ‘accidents’ and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian,” the report states. “However, the majority of these deaths share a common thread: They occurred along ‘arterial’ roadways that were dangerous by design, streets engineered for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on bicycles.”

A map produced by Transportation for America shows pedestrian deaths clustered along some of the region’s most infamous roads, State Road 50, State Road 436, Orange Blossom Trail and U.S. Highway 192.

The survey’s findings are not surprising given the state’s prevailing pattern of development.

The fatality rate for seniors is 3.7 per 100,000 compared with 2.7 for residents under the age of 65. Hispanics, the authors say, had average pedestrian death rate 37 percent higher than non-Hispanic whites. The rate among African-Americans was 48 percent higher than non-Hispanic whites.

The disparity likely reflects, in part, differences in income. Affluent Floridians can afford homes in neighborhoods with relatively quiet streets and sidewalks. Poorer residents are more likely to live in apartment complexes that line major arterials in many areas or in neighborhoods with few sidewalks. Poorer residents also tend to walk more because they are less likely to own their own vehicle.

The report comes as Congress gears up to draft a new comprehensive transportation spending bill. Transportation for America and a coalition of similar groups are pushing lawmakers to make spending on bike and pedestrian safety a higher priority and urging them not to cut funding in those areas.

The groups point out that 67 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the past 10 years occurred on roads eligible for federal money.

Pedestrian deaths in Miami topped 1,500 for the period between 2000-2009.

As a Miami Personal Injury attorney, the number of pedestrian accidents I see is alarming. Pedestrian accidents usually result in serious accidents and in significant medical bills. Pedestrians who are hit by cars may be able to collect insurance money for their medical bills from their own insurance (under PIP), if they have car insurance or live with someone who has car insurance. If they do not have car insurance, the personal injury protection of the person who hit them typically covers their expenses.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.