A recent report aimed at transportation reform highlights the top ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians and offers a progress report on pedestrian safety, report news sources.
The report from non-profit coalition Transportation for America states that pedestrian safety is largely ignored in budget and resource allocation matters, noting a 27-percent decrease in motor vehicle fatalities in the last decade versus only a 14-percent decrease in pedestrian deaths. In some areas pedestrian fatalities actually increased. Annually, pedestrians account for approximately 12 percent of all motor vehicle deaths, which in 2009 translated to 4,000 pedestrian deaths and 59,000 injuries.
Most pedestrian deaths are views as accidents either on the part of the motorist or the pedestrian; however, Transportation for America stresses that the common denominator in these fatalities is that they happen on roads that are not friendly for walkers, people in wheelchairs, are bicyclists. The lack of pedestrian compatibility with roadways has given rise to a dilemma for health officials who are promoting activities like walking a biking to address obesity.
Transportation for America says that risks to pedestrians are increased because states have not invested in safety-focused infrastructure. To address pedestrian safety issues, the non-profit recommends making roads safer for pedestrians, allocating more highway funds to improving infrastructure, and federal funding for bicycle and walking facilities.
As for the top 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians, warmer climates where outdoor street-side activity is more likely year-round seem to be related to pedestrian fatality rates, highlighted by the fact that the top four areas are in Florida:
- Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida
- Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano, Florida
- Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, California
- Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Arizona
- Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
- Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas
As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage both motorists and pedestrians alike to exercise caution while out and about and to share the road.