When it comes to pedestrian traffic accidents, there’s nothing sunny about living in the Sunshine State. According to a study release by the nonprofit group Transportation for America, the top four most dangerous cities for pedestrians are all in Florida. Many pedestrian traffic accidents occur on arterial roads that are specifically designed for speeding traffic— leaving few safety provisions for pedestrians or bicyclists.
The high fatality rates of these cities are directly correlated with poor infrastructure planning, according to Transportation for America. When these arterial roads were designed, little consideration was given to people who walk to work or walk for exercise.
Americans are increasingly encouraged to walk or bike to work as a way to stay active and go green. Unfortunately, this increase in pedestrian traffic is in direct conflict with the existing infrastructure in many cities—leading to an increase in pedestrian fatalities.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that more than 50,000 pedestrians will be involved in a traffic crash this year. Sadly, over 4,000 pedestrian fatalities will occur.
All too often, negligent drivers are speeding, chatting or texting on their cell phones. And for pedestrians walking on unsafe roads without sidewalks or signal crossings, the risk of being a traffic accident victim greatly increases. While you can’t control for inattentive drivers, as a pedestrian, you can make smart choices. Following basic walking safety tips can reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Always use sidewalks or walking paths; if there is no sidewalk, walk FACING traffic and as far to the left of the road as possible.
Cross only at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks; never cross in the middle of the street.
Before crossing the street, make eye contact with a stopped driver; this lets him know you are crossing and lets you know that he’s paying attention.
If walking at night, wear reflective gear so drivers can see you.
Is your city safe? According to Transportation for America, these are the 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas in the United States: