While walking is an excellent way for people to get around while improving their health, it also poses many dangers, especially in South Florida. According to a recent report by a pedestrian-safety organization, Florida ranks as the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians. South Florida, in particular, ranks as the 13th most dangerous region. The agency uses its Pedestrian Death Index (PDI) to rank states and metro areas. The PDI utilizes risk by calculating the number of people hit and killed by motorists while walking. Even when pedestrian accidents don’t result in fatal injuries, pedestrians tend to face the most serious of injuries after an accident. The most severe injuries include brain trauma, spinal injuries, fractures, lacerations, paralysis, and loss of limbs.
During the last data collecting period, South Florida experienced 1,675 pedestrian deaths, about 2.8 deaths per 100,000 Florida residents. The report revealed that older adults, people of color, and those residing in lower-income neighborhoods had the highest risk of fatal pedestrian accidents. Black residents suffered fatal injuries at a rate over 80% more than White and non-Hispanic residents. Low-income individuals are more likely to suffer fatalities because their neighbors often lack sidewalks and marked crosswalks. Further, older adults may experience serious injuries and fatalities because they often face challenges in sight, hearing, and movement.
Pedestrian accidents in Florida tend to occur more frequently at night and in cities. For instance, recent Jacksonville news reports described a tragic pedestrian accident. The pedestrian was struck by a vehicle around 2:40 a.m. while she was walking northbound on 1-95. A pickup truck hit the woman, and she died at the scene of the accident.