Bugle Miami

Florida ranked second deadliest in nation for pedestrian deaths, study

MIAMI – Florida is great for its weather, beaches, dining, and lest we forget, theme parks in the middle of the state.

You know what’s not great for – crossing the street.

According to a new study by smartgrowthamerica.org, Florida is number two in the nation when it comes to pedestrians being struck and killed by vehicles.

The group’s “Dangerous By Design” report looked at dangerous walking areas between 2016 and 2020. Among the top twenty most dangerous metropolitan areas, seven are in Florida.

Daytona Beach ranked number one as the most dangerous place to walk in the nation. Albuquerque, New Mexico came in at number two followed by Memphis, Tennessee.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach ranked 14th in the nation as most likely to be struck and killed by a driver.

Other state metro areas to make the top 20 list include Tampa/St. Petersburg (which ranked 4th in the nation), Jacksonville (6th), Orlando (8th), Melbourne/Palm Bay (12th), and Sarasota/Bradenton (19th).

The study found people who live in lower-income communities were killed at a higher rate.

“Low-income communities are significantly less likely to have access to parks and other opportunities for safe recreational walking and are less likely to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and street design to support safer, slower speeds. Lower-income neighborhoods are also much more likely to contain major arterial roads built for high speeds and higher traffic volumes at intersections, exacerbating dangerous conditions for people walking.”

The study also found the number of people struck and killed while walking reached a new high in 2020. More than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking in 2020, an average of nearly 18 per day, a 4.5 percent increase over 2019 and a 62 percent increase since 2009.