Florida Ranks as Deadliest State for Pedestrians and Cyclists

Feb 7, 2012 Posted by in Motor Vehicle Accidents and Safety

After several bicyclists and pedestrians died in tragic accidents in November, we offered information about the hazards that bikers and walkers face in Florida. In December, we provided results of a report that listed Florida cities among the most dangerous in America for pedestrians. Now, we bring you the latest statistics in a report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking, where Florida is reported to be the state with the highest rate of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

The report was compiled through the Alliance’s Benchmarking Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project was established to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and the 51 largest cities. The report is published biennially, with the first report published in 2007. The second report was published in 2010, with the next report scheduled for 2014. The data examined for the 2012 report covers the years from 2007-2009.

The benchmarks used to compile the data included: mode share, the combined share of commuters who bike and walk to work averaged over the last three years; safety, the top 1/3 states and cities are those with the lowest fatality rate, and the highest safety ranking; funding, the top 1/3 states and cities are those with the highest per capita investment of federal dollars in bicycling and walking; policy, the total number of policies promoting bicycling and walking adopted by the state/city.

Florida was among the bottom 1/3 states in mode share and safety, middle 1/3 for funding and policy, and among the top 1/3 in education and encouragement, as well as advocacy capacity. Miami and Jacksonville were included in the largest cities analyzed.
Florida was the deadliest state for pedestrians with 17.0 deaths per 10,000 daily pedestrians. Louisiana and South Carolina were the next closest with 12 and 11.7 deaths, respectively.

Florida also had the highest number of annual reported bicycle fatalities (117.3) and the largest percentage of all traffic fatalities that are bicyclists, at 4%. Comparatively, bicyclists account for 2% of all traffic fatalities in the United States.

Contrary to the poor safety ranking, Florida spends the highest percentage of state funding of any other state on bicyclist and pedestrian safety. About 4.3% of the state’s highway safety funds are allocated to the safety programs. This amount far outpaces all other states with the average for all states at just .4%. In addition, Florida has allocated approximately $48 million in federal transportation funds to biking and walking projects each year, amounting to $2.60 per capita and 2.2 percent of the state’s federal transportation dollars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 630 bicyclists were killed and another 51,000 were injured in traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

In Florida, in 2010, 76 bicyclists died and 4,600 were injured in motor vehicle accidents. In the same year, 499 pedestrians lost their lives and 7,290 were injured after being struck by vehicles.

Our Treasure Coast accident attorneys support the state in all efforts to promote bicyclist and pedestrian safety. We also ask that all drivers pay special attention when driving our highways to help reduce the number of accidents and keep our non-driving travelers safe. We must all work together to make our highways safer for all modes of transportation.

About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney

Since 1975, the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has been providing compassionate and professional legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in the Treasure Coast and South Florida. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, dog bite injuries, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.

Our law firm represents victims of car accidents across South Florida, including Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast.

Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.

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