Florida should be a pleasant place to walk for exercise or to get to work or to the store. The weather is nice for most of the year, which makes it much more pleasant to be a pedestrian. Unfortunately, while the weather may be good, Florida, and Orlando in particular, are really unsafe places for pedestrians to be on the roads.
Florida is the single most dangerous state for pedestrians, a title it has held for multiple years. There are significantly more pedestrian fatalities in Florida than in other states throughout the county. And, within Florida, certain cities are also especially unsafe. Orlando, for example, is the third most unsafe of 104 cities included in a report on pedestrian dangers published by NextCity.
There were 5,142 pedestrians killed within the state of Florida between 2005 and 2014, which was the period included in the study published by NextCity. This means 2.66 people in Florida died in a pedestrian accident for every 100,000 people in the state.
When you compare this number to safer cities, it is easy to see why experts are so concerned with how very dangerous Florida is for anyone who might want to take a walk. Comparing pedestrian deaths to population is important because some states are a lot more populated than other states are. However, even this measure isn't really the most accurate way to determine pedestrian fatality rates since certain states have many more people who choose to be pedestrians.
To try to actually get the most accurate comparison of how dangerous it is for pedestrians in different cities, researchers created a Pedestrian Danger Index. This PDI is based on an assessment of how many people walk regularly, compared with the number of pedestrian deaths.
Florida's PDI was 177.0. The next most dangerous state for pedestrians, Alabama, had a PDI of 136.6, which is substantially lower than Florida's Pedestrian Danger Index. Vermont was found to be the safest of the states because its PDI was only 11.4. In Vermont, there were .64 fatalities per 100,000 people. Obviously, this is a huge difference from the danger index in Florida.
Floridians face pedestrian accident risks everywhere, but certain locales are worse than others. In Orlando alone, there were 575 deaths from 20o5 through to 2014. Orlando's pedestrian danger index was 234.7, compared with a pedestrian danger index of 13.5 in Colorado Springs, the safest of the cities on NextCity's list.
Drivers should know that Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Those who drive should be sure to look out for pedestrians and try to follow best practices to improve safety conditions for people who are walking. Pedestrians also need to be assertive and watchful while following best practices to try to avoid being hurt or killed in a collision. If a crash happens, pedestrians need to know their rights under the law and how the law protects them from financial harm.