[profileleft][/profileleft]Walking is not only the oldest form of transportation known to man, but it remains one of the healthiest. Almost any doctor will tell a patient that going for a walk is a good, safe and beneficial way to get your heart rate up. Unfortunately, the statistics relating to pedestrian accidents may force some to reassess the word ‘safe’ when talking about walking. Pedestrian accidents occur with alarming regularity around the country. Some believe that this is the case because certain locations lack infrastructure to protect those moving around on foot. One group in particular is so focused on walker safety and pedestrian accidents that it has released extensive research on the topic. This research focuses on ranking the locations of pedestrian accidents in terms of how often they occur in the United States. We’d like to share some of that research with the public.
The Group Behind the Research: Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America is a group of professionals that works with everyone from elected officials to real estate developers to several others in order to improve the building of towns and cities. One of the group’s functions is to study what is already in place in cities across the United States. As such, Smart Growth America initiated the National Complete Streets Coalition. These groups, with the help of others, funded the completion of a report known as “Dangerous by Design 2016.” The report may open some eyes as to locations that need to focus more of a priority on the safety of their local pedestrians.
How “Dangerous by Design 2016” Was Formulated
The report ranks the 104 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, as well as every state separately, in terms of the risk of pedestrian accidents. Data relating to fatal pedestrian accidents between the years of 2005 and 2014 were used for the raw numbers. There were several factors that needed to be adjusted in order for an even comparison to be possible, such as population and the number of people who regularly walk to their destinations. This balancing is achieved statistically by using what is known as the “Pedestrian Danger Index,” or PDI. The PDI is an equation that balances out all of these otherwise inequivalent factors such as population size and the number of people who tend to walk.
Pedestrian Accidents Rankings – The Most Dangerous Places
Based on the calculations described above, the following are the 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrian accidents in the United States:
- Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Florida
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Memphis, Tennessee/Arkansas/Mississippi
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
8 of the 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrian accidents in the United States are in Florida. That plays out consistently in the rankings for the 10 most dangerous states in the country for walkers:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
To put this into context, 2.66 people per every 100,000 die in pedestrian accidents every year in Florida. Florida’s PDI is 177, far surpassing every other state in the country.
Pedestrian Accidents Rankings – The Safest Places
This research is positive news for several locations around the country. For instance, the 10 safest cities for people to walk in, from safest to 10th safest, include:
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Portland-South Portland, Maine
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts/New Hampshire
- Provo-Orem, Utah
- Syracuse, New York
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
The 10 safest states with regards to pedestrian accidents, listed from safest to 10th safest, include:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
An interesting commonality shared by the 10 safest states for pedestrian accidents is that all of them feature cold winters. All but one of the states out of the 10 most dangerous feature warmer climates.
California and Pedestrian Accidents Rankings
California did not place well in the overall state rankings in this report. The Golden State was found to be the 17th most dangerous state for pedestrian accidents in the country. More than 660 people are killed in pedestrian accidents across California every year, or 1.74 fatalities per 100,000 people. This is much higher than the 1.47 per 100,000 ratio that exists nationwide. The cities in California were spread out throughout the rankings. The following cities appeared in the following spots:
- Bakersfield – 12th most dangerous
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario – 18th most dangerous
- Stockton-Lodi – 29th most dangerous
- Modesto – 30th most dangerous
- Fresno – 36th most dangerous
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara – 48th most dangerous
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim – 51st most dangerous
- San Diego-Carlsbad – 56th most dangerous
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura – 60th most dangerous
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward – 86th most dangerous
All of the cities above with the exception of San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward are more dangerous for pedestrian accidents than the national average. Those who would like to read the entire report can find it here.
Pedestrian Accidents and Your Legal Rights
This is not the first time we have worked on raising awareness with regards to pedestrian accidents. This is a serious public safety problem that needs to be addressed with varying degrees of intensity across the United States. When someone is wrongfully hit and injured or worse by a motorist while walking, he or she often faces devastating levels of harm. Clearly, the pedestrian is at a distinct disadvantage when colliding with any type of moving vehicle because of size, force and of course relative levels of protection.
If you or someone you love has been injured or worse in one of the hundreds of San Diego pedestrian accidents that occurs every year, you need to seek the help of San Diego personal injury lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of injured clients for over a decade. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.