Walking is dangerous business in Florida. Florida has been named the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrian fatalities. The detailed report compiled by Smart Growth America highlights the most dangerous metropolitan areas, the most dangerous states and runs the contributing factors to generate a Pedestrian Danger Index score. The lower the number, the better.
Florida topped the list with a whopping 201.4. The second most dangerous state, Alabama, had a score of 174.6.
Florida logged 5,893 pedestrian deaths in a ten year period running from 2010 to 2019. That averages to 589 deaths per year. The only state with higher raw numbers was California which had 7,891 deaths over the same period. California has roughly fourteen million more people than Florida.
The national total was tallied at 53,435 meaning Florida accounts for 11% of all pedestrian fatalities even though the state only comprises 6.5% of the population total.
Florida averages 2.8 deaths per 100,000. That is second only to New Mexico which is the third most dangerous state on the list.
The report also listed the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians using the same metrics they used to rank the states. Florida has nine of the top thirteen spots for the most dangerous pedestrian areas in the United States including four of the top six spots.
Orlando was named the most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country. Melbourne, Daytona, and Sarasota rounded out the top six.
All of this spells bad news for Florida pedestrians who continue to be hit at alarming rates. Preliminary data from 2020 had Florida on pace to eclipse their already high average with over 715 pedestrian fatalities. This was on par with the Governors Highway Safety Association report which pegged Florida at an estimated 770 deaths for 2020.
This is part of a larger, distressing, trend that saw pedestrian fatalities rise nationwide over the past few years. Despite the pandemic keeping people home and out of work, pedestrian fatalities continue to rise as the data trickles in for 2020 and 2021.
The report cites speed as a major factor as well as failure to obey traffic rules, poor sidewalks, and badly marked and lit intersections as some of the reasons for the fatalities.
In the meantime, law enforcement has urged people to stay alert, follow traffic laws, and to not speed during the busy holiday season.