Florida Rated Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians

The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990, according to the report, which ranks states and metropolitan areas around the country using Smart Growth America's "Pedestrian Danger Index."

Smart Growth America's Dangerous by Design 2019 report ranks Florida as the most dangerous state for pedestrians and ranks six metropolitan areas in the state as the most dangerous metro areas for walking in the United States. It reports that, between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets in the United States -- more than 13 people per day.

Protecting the safety of all people who use the street—especially those most vulnerable to being struck and killed—needs to be a higher priority for policymakers, the organization argues.

The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990, according to the report, which ranks states and metropolitan areas around the country using SGA's "Pedestrian Danger Index." The index measures how deadly it is for people to walk based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking, controlling for the number of people who live in that state or metropolitan area and the share of people who walk to work. The report includes traffic deaths that occurred between 2008 and 2017 from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a national database of all fatal traffic crashes.

"We're not walking more, and we're only driving slightly more than we were back in 2008. Yet even as driving got safer from 2008-2017, significantly more people walking were struck and killed," SGA reports on its website. "This is happening because our streets, which we designed for the movement of vehicles, have not changed. In fact, we are continuing to design streets that are dangerous for all people. Furthermore, federal and state policies, standards, and funding mechanisms still produce roads that prioritize high speeds for cars over safety for all people. To reverse this trend and save lives, we need to protect all users of the transportation system through our policies, programs, and funding."

After Florida, the report ranks the most dangerous states for walking as Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina.

SGA is urging Congress to adopt a federal Complete Streets policy that requires state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations to consistently plan for all people who use the street, and asking state DOTs and MPOs to put people first and give their organizations the tools and training they need to create transportation networks that serve all users.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

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