Dangerous Cities for PedestriansMost people think that walking is safer than driving. However, if you live in Florida, this is not necessarily true; a new report released in 2011 by Transportation for America found that the top four most dangerous places to be a pedestrian in the United States are in Florida.

This report, titled “Dangerous by Design,” calculates something called the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) in several cities throughout the United States. Determining the PDI involves comparing the number of people who walk in a given city against the number of people who were killed while walking in that city.

The top four most dangerous places to walk in the United States are the Orlando-Kissimmee metro area, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area, all of which are located in Florida.

The next six most dangerous places to walk in the United States are, in order of danger, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area in California, Las Vegas-Paradise metro area in Nevada, Memphis metro area spanning Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area in Arizona, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area in Texas and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area in Texas.

In addition to these statistics, the report also noted that the death rate per 100,000 pedestrians is 1.6 percent in the United States. Compared to similar wide-open countries such as Canada and Australia, which respectively have rates of 1.1 and .9, the United States’ rate is very high.

The report speculates that the reason for this is because many cities in the United States, especially in the South, have not made the infrastructure improvements that would improve pedestrian safety in the streets. The most dangerous type of street is one that has multiple lanes of high-speed traffic and plenty of entrances to parking lots and drive-throughs but lacks enough sidewalks and crosswalks.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute, a good 12 percent of all motor-related deaths each year involve pedestrians. Male pedestrians are more likely to be involved in a motor-related incident.

If the accident involves someone crossing midblock or at an intersection, then the pedestrian is likely to be judged at-fault. If the accident involves a vehicle that goes off the road, backs up or turns, then the driver is most likely at-fault.

If you’d like to avoid becoming a part of the PDI, make sure to always actually look both ways before crossing the street; it’s not just something little kids should do. Always use sidewalks if possible, and if you are forced to walk in the road, walk facing oncoming traffic.

When walking at night, try to stick to lighter colors so drivers can see you better. Try not to cross the street at a curve as drivers may not be able to see you.

Bio: Bill Hunter the author of the “Most dangerous cities for pedestrians” is a writer for a Canadian travel company. They help Canadians find affordable holidays in the country and abroad.

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