Florida's year-round warm weather should make the Sunshine State a great place for commuting pedestrians. But surprisingly, Florida pedestrians face the highest risks in the country of becoming involved in a deadly pedestrian accident.
Pedestrians need to understand the high levels of danger within the state of Florida and should be extra cautious when they are out. Drivers also need to know how dangerous life can be for pedestrians and should make an effort to try to respect their rights in order to reduce the chances a pedestrian will be hurt or killed. Finally, lawmakers should take action to try to improve conditions for pedestrians through road redesigns, traffic laws, and public education.
Next City published a troubling report recently showing just how dangerous the state of Florida is for pedestrians. Florida was ranked number one on a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). The PDI was calculated by considering the number of pedestrian fatalities within the state of Florida and comparing this to data on people who commute to work.
Looking at data on commuters is a more accurate way to determine the actual risk of pedestrians of getting into fatal accidents. If you only consider pedestrian deaths in relation to population, you could get skewed data because different proportions of the population work in different states. If there are a lot more people who walk in a particular location, it stands to reason more of them would be killed in accidents even if the state actually isn't more dangerous.
Florida's Pedestrian Danger Index was 177.0, the highest in the country. By comparison, the state that had the lowest Pedestrian Danger Index was the state of Vermont. That state's PDI was 11.4. Obviously, this means it is significantly more risky to be a pedestrian in Florida than to be a pedestrian in Vermont.
Unfortunately, South Florida was found to be a particularly high-risk place within a state where danger is everywhere for pedestrian. South Florida ranked 11th in terms of danger to pedestrians, out of all of the metropolitan areas which were included in the research.
This troubling data does not mean that pedestrians should give up walking, as walking still remains excellent exercise and is good for your health. It does mean pedestrians need to be aware they face dangers and they should understand their rights in case they become involved in a motor vehicle accident. If a driver is careless and hurts or kills a pedestrian, the accident victim or his family should pursue a claim to get compensation for crash losses.