Unfortunately for Florida residents, our roads are the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. Florida tops the rankings as the number 1 most dangerous state, and Florida cities make up just under half of the top-20 most dangerous metro areas.
Regardless of the causes, the best way to avoid being injured in a pedestrian accident is to learn where and when they tend to occur so you can be more cautious in certain situations. According to the GHSA’s “2019 Spotlight on Highway Safety,” pedestrians should exercise caution in these five high-risk scenarios:
- Outside of Intersections: Despite common belief, in 2018, only 25% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in or near an intersection. If you’re only being careful at crosswalks, you are only being safe 25% of the time.
- Local Roads and Highways: The GHSA’s report found that only 22% of the total pedestrian fatalities occurred on residential and downtown streets. A much higher percentage (59%) happened on main roads that carry a city’s local and regional traffic.
- Nighttime: Lighting conditions have a marked effect on pedestrian accidents. In fact, 76% of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. If dawn and dusk hours are added to the mix, when sunlight is waxing and waning, we add another 4%, which equals 80% of the total fatalities.
- Elderly More at Risk: Unfortunately, people over 50 years old are overrepresented in pedestrian accident deaths. This is a particularly troublesome finding for Florida, whose elderly population is sizeable and growing. This age group, especially those in the 75+ range, is more likely to experience challenges seeing, hearing, or moving, further exacerbating the problem.
- Lower-Income Communities: The lower the median household income of an area, the more dangerous its streets are likely to be for pedestrians and vice versa. Given that low-income communities are less likely than higher-income communities to have well-maintained sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and streets designed for pedestrian safety, such a finding is not surprising.