Florida Named the Nation’s Deadliest State for Pedestrians

A study just released by the safety advocacy group Smart Growth America found that Florida was projected to be the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians in 2019, with eight of the ten metropolitan areas having the highest pedestrian accident fatality rates in the Sunshine State. Central Florida featured prominently in the rankings, with three metropolitan areas in that part of the Sunshine State alone taking the top three spots as far as most dangerous metropolitan areas in the country for pedestrians. The giant metropolis that is South Florida–the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area–was 14th on the list of the projected most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country in 2019.

A report from Tampa’s Fox 13 news notes that both Orlando and the greater Tampa Bay Area in particular were noted to be especially dangerous for pedestrians, even by Florida standards. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford was the country’s deadliest metropolitan area for pedestrians in 2017, while nearby Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas came in a close second. The state’s West Coast was also well-represented on the list, with the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port area ranked as the fourth deadliest in the country, followed closely by Lakeland-Winter Haven at No. 5 and Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg coming in several spots behind at the ninth deadliest metropolitan area in the country for pedestrians. Other parts of Florida, including Jacksonville in the northern part of the state, also featured prominently in the rankings, coming in at sixth place. This has been true even despite initiatives taken in some cities like installing flashing pedestrian signals in specific places where pedestrians have been killed in the past. A consistent theme to be taken from these rankings is that Florida is a very dangerous place for pedestrians, regardless of where in the state someone is, and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.

The Smart Growth America Report’s Findings Regarding Pedestrian Safety in the Sunshine State

The Smart Growth America’s 2019 Dangerous by Design report surveyed all of the 49,340 pedestrians who were killed nationwide from 2008 to 2017 and found that the number of pedestrian deaths increased across all states by 35.1% during that ten-year period. Traffic deaths in motor vehicle accidents nationwide actually decreased by 6.1% during this same time period, a sad statement as to the ability of public safety and other officials to make the nation’s streets far safer for motorists while the streets grow more dangerous for pedestrians.

Among the factors that the study noted which made Florida particularly dangerous for pedestrians is the fact that many Florida cities’ design choices reflect a preference for cars, including many multi-lane roads with wide lanes, no sidewalks and high speed limits. In addition, public transportation systems in many parts of Florida are either non-existent or rudimentary, which leaves many people (particularly those of more limited means) dependent upon their own two feet as their primary mode of transport. In such a circumstance, people often have no choice but to walk, even in a state where the roads are not designed to be friendly to pedestrians, in essence forcing people to take their lives into their own hands just by walking to work or to the store for groceries. Unfortunately, Florida is a very dangerous place for pedestrians, and it is destined to stay that way for the foreseeable future. 

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

As explained above, based on Smart Growth America’s survey of pedestrian fatalities throughout the country, Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, and the major metropolitan areas of South Florida also rank highly on the list of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country. At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of pedestrian accidents and other types of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. We can confirm that, sadly, we have experienced what the Smart Growth America study recently found to be true firsthand as well; Florida is simply a dangerous place for pedestrians. However, if you are a pedestrian who has been injured as a result of the actions of a Florida motorist, you have the right under Florida law to receive compensation for your injuries, including the payment for any medical treatment you need to undergo as a result of those injuries, compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of those injuries, and other damages. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured or killed by a motor vehicle while walking on a Florida road, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.