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Florida: Deadly for Pedestrians

Long before we learn to balance on a bicycle or drive a car, one of our first milestones is learning how to walk. The “shoe leather express” is always available, fairly economical (though some of those Air Jordans can cost as much as vehicle down payment) and good for the environment. The thing is, many American roadways fail to provide for the safety of pedestrians. And year after year, the Sunshine State posts alarming numbers of fatalities of those on foot.

Most dangerous states for walkers based on the Pedestrian Danger Index

  1. Florida
  2. Alabama
  3. Louisiana
  4. South Carolina
  5. Georgia
  6. Delaware
  7. Mississippi
  8. Arizona
  9. North Carolina
  10. Texas

A 2014 report from Smart Growth America found that from 2003 to 2012, over 47,000 people were killed and an estimated 676,000 were injured while walking on streets across the country. That means that a pedestrian was hit by a car approximately every eight minutes. In the same time period, Florida was the site of 5,189 pedestrian fatalities, representing nearly 18 percent of all traffic fatalities here.

Florida led the nation as the most dangerous state for walkers based on the “pedestrian danger index” (PDI), which measures the likelihood of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle and killed. Calculated from the share of local commuters who walked to work and the most recent five years of data on pedestrian fatalities, the national average PDI from 2003 to 2012 was 52.2. Florida’s PDI was substantially higher, at a disturbing 168.60. In fact, four of the top five most dangerous metropolitan areas to walk were in Florida:

  • Orlando/Kissimmee – PDI 244.48
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater – PDI 190.13
  • Jacksonville – PDI 182.71
  • Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach – PDI 145.33

With walkers accounting for about 23 percent of all traffic-related deaths between 2003 and 2012, the Miami area also came in fifth for large metro areas ranked by "percentage of traffic deaths that were pedestrians." To make matters worse, the age group with the greatest pedestrian fatality rate is one of Florida’s largest populations. Adults aged 65 or older were the victims of one in five pedestrian accidents.

With numbers like these, patterns are difficult to determine. The accidents happen at all times of day, on busy highways and rural roads, in and out of crosswalks, where sidewalks are available and where they aren’t. Just a sampling of recent headlines reflects the reality that while Florida is a haven in many ways, it’s not without its risks.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or if you are the survivor of someone who was killed by a negligent driver, the attorneys at Stabinski & Funt, P.A. can review your case and discuss all available legal options. As one of South Florida's most respected and oldest law firms, we have helped many people sort out their legal rights, responsibilities, and remedies. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless pedestrian accident victims, and we are highly experienced in handling a wide range of personal injury cases. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost to you. If you wish to learn more about how our firm can be of assistance to you, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 305-643-3100 or filling out a case evaluation form.

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