Out-of-towner guests arrive in Miami with preconceived notions — namely, that Miami is a dangerous place to stay. That reputation is real, and it doesn’t do the city any favors, but just how dangerous is Miami?
Yes, Miami has more crime than anyone would like, and the traffic accident and pedestrian fatality numbers are also cause for concern. But national reports conflate “Miami proper” with its surrounding cities, where the statistics are often even worse.
We crunch the crime and crash facts below.
A Criminal Comparison: Miami vs. Ft. Lauderdale
Comparing crime statistics can be difficult because there are so many kinds of crime. Disparities in population size are important too. Miami has more murders per capita, for example, but Ft. Lauderdale has nearly twice as many forcible rapes.
The final conclusion might come down to how you run the numbers. However, most experts agree that Ft. Lauderdale is generally more dangerous than Miami (comparing data from within their respective city limits). That said, both cities have their fair share of problems, and, believe it or not, neither ranks as the most dangerous place in South Florida.
Rather, it’s Miami Beach that emerges as the most dangerous location for crime in Florida. New Times Broward-Palm Beach recently reported on a new study in which Miami Beach residents were found to have a 1 in 9 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.
Miami and Ft. Lauderdale residents, meanwhile, each have a 1 in 15 chance. (The latter’s numbers are just slightly worse, with Miami’s rate at 65 crimes per 1,000 residents and Ft. Lauderdale’s at 68 per 1,000).
When you limit the analysis to violent crimes, though, the rankings look a little different. Miami becomes #4, Miami Beach #8, and Ft. Lauderdale #13. As for the top spot in violent crimes? Homestead, Florida.
In total, South Florida is home to 11 of the top 20 most dangerous cities in Florida — more than half. See the full list here.
What About Auto Accidents?
When it comes to traffic accidents, there is no debate. The Ft. Lauderdale traffic fatality rate eclipses Miami’s. As a matter of fact, Ft. Lauderdale ranks as the deadliest city for motorists in the entire country.
Orlando comes in second place, Jacksonville in eleventh, and St. Petersburg in twelfth. Miami, meanwhile, doesn’t make the top 15.
There is little doubt, though, that even in Miami, there are far too many car crashes. A heavy tourist population, new residents, and out-of-control traffic all lead to a higher-than-average traffic accident rate. Many of those accidents are serious in nature.
A Look at South Florida Pedestrian Danger
When it comes to pedestrian safety, unfortunately, both cities earn a failing grade. In fact, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach metro ranks as the 4th deadliest place for pedestrians in the United States. Astoundingly, Florida is home to the entire top four. (Orlando/Kissimmee is #1, Tampa/St. Petersburg-Clearwater is #2, and Jacksonville is #3.)
Get Help from Our Miami Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in an auto accident, pedestrian accident, or criminal incident in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or anywhere else in Florida, the experienced Miami injury attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC can help.
Many of the crimes in our states qualify for a civil lawsuit on grounds of personal injury or premises liability, in addition to any criminal charges that may be filed against the wrongdoer. Additionally, car accident victims may be able to recover substantial financial compensation from at-fault drivers and their insurers.
Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our Miami injury attorneys today.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.