From 2003 to 2012, traffic accidents killed 47,025 pedestrians on U.S. streets, according to a new report from Smart Growth America. On top of that, an estimated 676,000 pedestrians were injured from being struck by a vehicle. Nationally, pedestrians represented 12.3% of total traffic deaths over the decade measured.
The report, titled “Dangerous By Design 2014,” says many U.S. roadways fail to account for the safety of people on foot. According to the report, the majority of pedestrian deaths occur on arterial roadways, planned and engineered for speeding automobiles with little consideration for pedestrians.
The Smart Growth America report uses its Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which predicts the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and killed by a vehicle, to rank all 50 states by how dangerous they are for pedestrians. The PDI is based on the number of local commuters who walk to work—what Smart Growth America says is the best available measure of how many people are likely to be out walking each day—and the most recent five years of data on pedestrian fatalities.
Keep reading to see the top 10 most dangerous states for pedestrians.
(Photos provided by AP Images.)
Total traffic fatalities (2003-2012): 34,107
Total Pedestrian Fatalities (2003-2012): 4,192
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 (2003-2012): 1.74
Texas comes in at number 10 with a PDI of 97.5. The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area was ranked seventh in the most dangerous large metropolitan areas for pedestrians by Smart Growth America, with a total of 1,034 pedestrian deaths from 2003-2012 – a PDI of 119.64. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area was 12th with 900 deaths and a PDI of 107.54, and the San Antonio area was 18th with 373 deaths and a PDI of 96.87.
9. North Carolina
Total traffic fatalities: 14,486
Total pedestrian fatalities: 1,683
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 1.84
North Carolina is the ninth most dangerous state for pedestrians with 1,683 fatalities and a PDI of 99.8. The Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area is the 10th most dangerous metropolitan area to walk in with 254 deaths and a PDI of 111.74, and the Raleigh-Cary area is the 16th most dangerous with 165 deaths and a PDI of 110.35.
Total traffic fatalities: 9,960
Total pedestrian fatalities: 1,434
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 2.34
Arizona ranks as the eighth most dangerous state for pedestrians, with 1,434 pedestrian fatalities. A majority of those fatalities (840) happened in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area, which ranks as the ninth most dangerous metropolitan area to walk in, with a PDI of 118.64.
Total traffic fatalities: 7,833
Total pedestrian fatalities: 527
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 1.80
The Memphis, TN-MS-AR area was ranked as the fifth most dangerous large metropolitan area to walk in with 239 pedestrian deaths and a PDI of 131.26.
Total traffic fatalities: 1,223
Total pedestrian fatalities: 194
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 2.22
Delaware comes in as the sixth most dangerous state for pedestrians. According to Smart Growth America, the safest places for walking are those with relatively more people walking and fewer deaths per capita, as shown by a lower PDI. The less dangerous regions tend to be more compactly developed and place more emphasis on pedestrian safety.
Total traffic fatalities: 14,748
Total pedestrian fatalities: 1,564
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 1.67
Georgia is the fifth most dangerous state for pedestrians with 1,564 pedestrian fatalities and a PDI of 104.0. Over half of those fatalities (839) occurred in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta area, which ranks as the eighth most dangerous large metropolitan area to walk in with a PDI of 119.35.
4. South Carolina
Total traffic fatalities: 9,546
Total pedestrian fatalities: 1,020
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 2.29
The Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area was the 10th most dangerous metropolitan area to walk in with 254 pedestrian deaths from 2003-2012 and a PDI of 111.74.
Total traffic fatalities: 8,673
Total pedestrian fatalities: 1,030
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 2.29
The New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner area is the 22nd most dangerous large metropolitan area for pedestrians with 272 pedestrian deaths and a PDI of 84.90.
Total traffic fatalities: 10,061
Total pedestrian fatalities: 723
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 1.55
Alabama is the second most dangerous U.S. state for pedestrians, with a PDI of 125.2. The Birmingham-Hoover area ranked as the sixth most dangerous large metropolitan area to walk in, with 148 pedestrian fatalities and a PDI of 125.60.
Total traffic fatalities: 29,302
Total pedestrian fatalities: 5,189
Annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000: 2.83
Metro Orlando tops the list of most dangerous metropolitan areas to walk this year, followed by the Tampa–St.Petersburg-Clearwater; Jacksonville; and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach regions. Across the Orlando region, the calculated PDI for 2003–2012 was 244.28, four times higher than the national PDI of 52.2.