Walking Safely in the Most Dangerous City for Pedestrians

March 27, 2015

A report by the Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition entitled “Dangerous by Design 2014” has revealed some staggering statistics on pedestrian accidents.

The report used accident statistics and population density to determine a “Pedestrian Danger Index” (PDI). Our state of Florida did not fare very well in this study. In fact, the top four most dangerous urban areas in the country were all in Florida. These include:

  • Orlando-Kissimmee, which has a 244.28 PDI, which is considerably higher than the national average of 52.2. If you are curious, the lowest PDI was 18.65 for Boston-Cambridge-Quincy in Massachusetts.
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 190.13
  • Jacksonville 182.71
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach 145.33, which is considerably higher than Memphis, the most dangerous urban area that is not in Florida with a PDI of 131.26

What are some things that a pedestrian in Orlando can do to be a safer walker in a very pedestrian unfriendly city?

Orlando Pedestrian Safety Tips

Approximately 57 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in daytime hours, with most of these accidents occurring on roads with four or more lanes. About 47 percent of pedestrians that are killed have been drinking or using drugs. Here are some safety tips that could help you walk safely in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida:

  • Make good use of public transportation, or call a friend if you are under the influence. Many people may be walking because they do not want to drink and drive. However, walking under the influence can be dangerous as well, especially if you are walking in an area that generally does not have high pedestrian traffic.
  • Avoid suddenly leaving the curb when a vehicle is in view. The car may not have the time to react to your decision safely. If the street you are crossing has a stoplight and a crosswalk, then you should make sure that you wait until the signal allows you to walk, and cross only at the marked crosswalk.
  • If the street you are crossing does not have a crosswalk, or a signal, then you should yield the right-of-way to the vehicles.

Following these simple tips should reduce the probability that a vehicle will hit you. Unfortunately, drunk or aggressive drivers are capable of hitting even the most cautious pedestrians. If you have been injured by a reckless driver, then you should call an auto accident attorney as soon as you can.

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