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Ten Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

It’s no coincidence that a resurgence of walking in American cities coincides with increasing numbers of pedestrian accidents. While this is a growing problem everywhere, pedestrian accidents in Clearwater and throughout Florida put the state in the top ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians.

Just recently, the neighborhood and community advocacy and planning organization, Smart Growth America, released its most recent report, Dangerous by Design 2014. The report looks at the challenges that cities face with pedestrian and biking accidents due to design and growth parameters. A highlight of the report was its list of the top ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians, which puts Florida cities including Orlando, Tampa,

Jacksonville, and Miami in the top four spots in descending order. The rest of the list included:

  • Memphis, TN
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Houston, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Charlotte, NC

The report explains how these cities are highly car dependent due to their original growth spurts during the automobile era following WWII when roadways were designed strictly for automotive travel. Despite the many roadway and traffic/intersection safety design measures of the last several decades, the problem continues to grow throughout Florida and elsewhere. The Florida statistics are staggering in terms of pedestrian accidents and deaths. More than 47,000 people died while walking on U.S. streets in the decade from 2003 through 2012 alone.

Although the pedestrian accident problem touches all demographics, older adults are affected at much higher rates here in Florida. A recent Miami Herald article stated that

Florida’s older pedestrian fatality rate stands at 3.92 per 100,000, which is higher than the national average. Other cited statistics included are that 32 percent of Florida’s pedestrian crashes occur at intersections and a quarter of all pedestrian accidents happen in parking lots.

Regardless of safety measures or improved roadway and traffic designs, pedestrians will remain vulnerable to vehicles. Consequently, the aftermath of pedestrian accidents in Clearwater and throughout the state of Florida will require pedestrians to seek legal support in order to prove negligence on the part of the driver when that is the case. Knowing what to do in the event of a pedestrian accident, and how pedestrians should proceed in the immediate aftermath of an accident with a motor vehicle, can be crucial to recovery. The reality is that these types of accidents will always be with us in some form, so the better prepared you are to avoid them and deal effectively with them in the aftermath, the better.

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