Florida Is a Great Place for a Walk -- If You Want to End Up Dead
Fact of the day: You're more likely to wind up dead while on a walk in Florida than in any other state.
That's according to what an advocacy group called Transportation for America released Tuesday, with Florida taking the cake for the highest "Pedestrian Danger Index" rank in the nation, earning four of the top ten spots for unsafe metropolitan areas for pedestrians.
Floridians mowed over and killed 5,163 pedestrians between 2000 and 2009, accounting for nearly 11 percent of pedestrian deaths nationwide.
Orlando ranked as the most unsafe metro area in the state for pedestrians according to the index, followed by Tampa, Jacksonville, and the
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area.
In terms of counties, Broward County saw 463 pedestrian fatalities between 2000 and 2009, second only to Miami-Dade County with 753. Palm Beach County ranked fifth with 339.
For those concerned more about money than dead people, Transportation for America says Florida's 5,163 pedestrian deaths cost the state $22.2 billion over the past decade between economic costs and a diminished quality of life.
Of course, there's someone to blame.
Transportation for America says only 1.5 percent of available federal funds go to projects that retrofit dangerous roads or create a safer environment for pedestrians, and further federal funding is facing cuts.
"Despite the magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, little public attention -- and even less in public resources -- has been committed to reducing pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States," the group says in a statement. "On the contrary, transportation agencies typically prioritize speeding traffic over the safety of people on foot or other vulnerable road users."
To see the entire report of Florida's pedestrian-killing tendencies, click here.
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