At 490 pedestrian deaths last year, Florida ranks as the top state for pedestrian-vehicle collisions, according to Transportation for America, a nonprofit safety organization. Southern Florida frequently has the most hit-and-run fatalities.
Florida also has the four most dangerous metropolitan areas in the nation. Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville beat out other sprawl-happy cities like Atlanta and Houston.
Pedestrian deaths remain a major public safety problem in the U.S., with 400 people struck and killed by cars each month and 76,000 pedestrians killed since 1994.
The TFA says the culprit lies with thoughtless urban and suburban sprawl that puts an emphasis on roadways at the expense of sidewalks, bike lanes and public transit. The study points out that 1.5% of federal transportation safety spending goes to projects like sidewalks that benefit pedestrians, yet pedestrians and cyclists account for 13% of U.S. traffic deaths.
The study suggests that states like Florida should focus on building “complete streets” with sidewalks and bike lanes included in the design. States should also invest in public transportation that takes cars off the road and offers pedestrians a safer way to get around their cities. Florida, according to the study, is notorious for its lack of public transportation.