Studies show that Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians and bicyclists.
A study by Governing magazine found that four of the five cities with the highest per capita pedestrian fatality rates are in Florida. This follows an earlier study by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition that ranked the top four deadliest cities in the country for pedestrians as Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami.
The Tampa Bay area recorded 403 deaths in five years, the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the country.
The League of American Bicyclists compiled data on bicyclist fatalities and found Florida to be the deadliest state for bicyclists as well. Florida’s rate of 21.7 bicyclist fatalities per 10,000 bicycle commuters is nearly double the rate of Arizona, the next closest state.
According to researchers, the danger originates in part from an automobile-based, suburban-sprawl pattern of development, which is more common in the Sunbelt communities, which saw rapid post-war growth. Low-density neighborhoods connected by wide streets allow cars to move faster, but they are often not designed with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind.
Researchers said that action by transportation officials, such as installing bike lanes and illuminating crosswalks, can have a positive impact on reducing fatalities.