FILE - Florida pedestrian

Pedestrians and bikers enjoy the sunny Florida day near Terramar Street and State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale.

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Pedestrian fatalities have been climbing since 2009 and are currently at the highest level in decades, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This has occurred at the same time that the total number of motor vehicle fatalities has been on a continuous downward trend.

While the total number of miles traveled on American roads increased by 7.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities during the same period increased by more than 27 percent. As of 2017, pedestrians accounted for 16.1 percent of all traffic-related fatalities.

The NHTSA reports that in nearly half of traffic crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality, the driver and/or the pedestrian had consumed alcohol before the crash. In addition, a 2018 report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration points to the widespread use of smartphones as a potential explanation for the rise in fatal pedestrian accidents. Cell phone use quintupled in the period between 2010 and 2017 as pedestrian fatalities also increased significantly. However, there’s insufficient evidence to establish a definitive causal link between the two trends.

Outside of distraction and impairment, a number of factors contribute to the likelihood of pedestrian fatalities, including the time of day. Pedestrian fatalities are nearly 3.5 times more likely to occur during low light conditions. From 2013 to 2017, there were more than 20,000 pedestrian fatalities that occurred in between dusk and dawn, while only 6,180 occurred during full daylight. Although many new cars are equipped with safety features like pedestrian-detection technology, a study by AAA found that these features frequently fail at night—underscoring the importance for drivers to be especially vigilant during these hours.

Nationwide, the pedestrian fatality rate in 2017 was 1.7 per 100,000 people; however, certain demographic groups experience significantly higher rates. Adults in the U.S. over age 50 suffer from more pedestrian fatalities than younger Americans. Seniors between 80-89 experience the highest pedestrian fatality rates, while children under 10 experience the lowest rates.

The overall pedestrian fatality rate for men (2.4 per 100,000) is more than double the rate for women (about 1 per 100,000). Similarly, American Indians and Blacks suffer from much higher pedestrian fatality rates than the national average, at 6.2 per 100,000 and 2.7 per 100,000, respectively. By contrast, Asians and whites are less likely than average to be victims of a fatal accident.

Like different demographic groups, some parts of the U.S. are more prone to pedestrian fatalities as well. NHTSA data shows that 80 percent of pedestrian fatalities took place in urban areas, compared to just 20 percent in rural areas. To find which of these urban areas are most dangerous for pedestrians, researchers at QuoteInspector analyzed pedestrian fatality statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2013-2017 and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Across the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the most dangerous cities for pedestrians tend to be located in the South or the West, and 15 of the top 20 cities experienced an increase in pedestrian fatalities over the past five years. Here is the final list.

The 20 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

20. Dallas, TX

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k (2.2X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 244
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 36.8%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 82.4%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

19. Jacksonville, FL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 3.9 per 100k (2.3X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 171
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 15.2%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 86.6%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.7 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.5 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

18. Orlando, FL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.0 per 100k (2.4X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 54
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 85.7%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 77.8%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 7.1 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.1 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

17. Pomona, CA

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 32
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 20.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 84.4%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 7.0 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.6 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

16. Saint Louis, MO

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 66
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: No change
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 75.8%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.8 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

15. Miami, FL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 92
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: -66.7%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 69.6%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 9.0 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.1 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

14. Atlanta, GA

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 97
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 5.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 76.3%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 5.0 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.0 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

13. Memphis, TN

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 138
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 48.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 81.2%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 5.2 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.6 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

12. Tampa, FL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.3 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 79
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 100.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 81.0%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 6.2 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.4 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

11. Albuquerque, NM

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.3 per 100k (2.5X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 119
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 81.3%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 84.9%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 3.3 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 5.0 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

10. Macon, GA

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.4 per 100k (2.6X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 34
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: No change
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 76.5%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 3.6 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 2.1 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

9. Birmingham, AL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.4 per 100k (2.6X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 47
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 150.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 72.3%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 1.4 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

8. Charleston, SC

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.6 per 100k (2.7X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 30
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 100.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 96.7%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 3.3 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 8.2 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

7. Jackson, MS

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.6 per 100k (2.7X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 39
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: -50.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 89.7%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 2.0 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.5 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

6. Baton Rouge, LA

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.6 per 100k (2.7X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 52
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 20.0%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 82.7%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.1 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.9 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

5. Newark, NJ

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.6 per 100k (2.7X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 65
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 44.4%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 63.1%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 6.6 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.9 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

4. Phoenix, AZ

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.6 per 100k (2.7X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 362
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 88.5%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 76.8%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 7.3 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.3 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

3. San Bernardino, CA

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 4.9 per 100k (2.9X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 53
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 28.6%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 77.4%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 8.6 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

2. Detroit, MI

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 5.5 per 100k (3.2X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 186
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: -33.3%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 83.3%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.3 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 4.4 per 100k

Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

1. Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Pedestrian fatality rate: 6.7 per 100k (3.9X higher than U.S. average)
  • Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 59
  • 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 9.1%
  • Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 83.1%
  • 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 6.1 per 100k
  • Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 7.0 per 100k

Methodology & Full Results

Pedestrian fatality statistics are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, for the period 2013-2017. Population statistics, including total city population, racial composition, age distribution, and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Pedestrian fatality rates were calculated as the average number of pedestrian fatalities in the city for the period 2013-2017 per 100,000 residents. The percent change in the number of fatalities was also calculated between 2013 and 2017. The fatality rates for minorities were calculated for all individuals who do not identify as non-Hispanic white.

Only the top 200 most populous cities in the U.S. were included in the analysis. Cities were ranked according to their overall pedestrian fatality rate. In the event of a tie, cities with a greater number of total pedestrian fatalities were considered more dangerous.

This article originally ran on quoteinspector.com.

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