These Are the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians

Between 2010 and 2019, the number of pedestrians struck and killed by drivers has seen a historic 45% increase, according to a report released Wednesday by Smart Growth America.

Over the decade, 53,435 people were killed while walking in the U.S., equating to more than 14 people per day, according to the advocacy group, with 2018 and 2019 seeing the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990. But some states are more dangerous for pedestrians than others, and “many of the states that are the most dangerous are also getting more and more dangerous,” the primary author of the report, Rayla Bellis, said during a press call Tuesday.

[READ: These States Are Struggling the Most During the Pandemic]

Except one, all states have grown more dangerous for pedestrians since the group’s 2019 report. Of the most dangerous states for pedestrians, most are in the South, according to the 2021 report. The authors utilize a Pedestrian Danger Index, using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the U.S. Census Bureau, to measure the number of pedestrians killed in the context of the number of people who walk to work each day and the state’s population.

These are the 10 most dangerous states for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America:

State

Pedestrian Fatalities (2010-2019)

Pedestrian Danger Index

Florida

5,893

201.4

Alabama

936

174.6

New Mexico

626

149.5

Mississippi

596

142.9

Delaware

269

140.5

Louisiana

1,118

133.3

Arizona

1,710

127.9

South Carolina

1,280

127.5

Georgia

1,980

126.7

Texas

5,308

125.3

The report notes that some communities are more in danger than others when it comes to pedestrian safety. Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, older adults and people walking in low-income communities are at a greatest risk of dying from being struck by a car, being disproportionately represented among pedestrian fatalities.

As for the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on pedestrian deaths, the results remain to be seen. However, the report cites preliminary data collected by the National Safety Council that suggests a 24% spike in total traffic fatalities in 2020 – the biggest increase seen in 96 years. Though fewer cars were on the road, the preliminary data shows that more people died, according to the authors of the report.

“It underscores the nation’s persistent failure to prioritize the safety of our roads,” Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America at Smart Growth America, said Tuesday. “When they became emptier, they became more deadly because the design of our roads encourage people to drive quickly. And without congestion, there’s nothing to stop it.”

More from U.S. News

U.S. Population Growth Rate Slowed in Past Decade, Report Shows

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Minnesota, Utah Are the Best States for Children Amid the Pandemic

These Are the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians originally appeared on usnews.com

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