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Florida ranks high in number of car accidents with pedestrians

Pedestrians throughout the U.S. are notoriously vulnerable to suffering serious injuries and death in an accident with a motor vehicle. Depending upon one's interpretation of the numbers, Florida may be, statistically, the most dangerous. A new report from Smart Growth America shows that of the top ten riskiest large metropolitan areas for pedestrians, Florida has a whopping eight representatives. While Ocala is not listed, because the study examined the top 104 metroplexes based on population. It would have been high on the list, however, according to some who used publicly available numbers and the Smart Growth America formula.

In the decade from 2005 to 2014, there were, on average, 9.8 pedestrians killed in auto accidents in Ocala. Combining the population with the number of people who walk to work produced a 202.52 'Pedestrian Danger Index' for Marion County. This would place Ocala ahead of sixth ranked Lakeland. The higher the PDI is, the greater jeopardy pedestrians are in. There has been a minimum of six pedestrian deaths in Marion County every year since 2005. In 2005, there were 12. In 2013, there were the fewest, at six.

This is a concern across the nation. From 2005 to 2014, there were more than 46,000 people who were hit by vehicles and killed. In 2014, the most recent statistical year studied, there were nearly 4,900. That was an increase of more than 100 from the previous year. The demographics for people who are killed as pedestrians are as follows: 34.9 percent are non-white; the elderly are 50 percent more likely to be hit by a vehicle as pedestrians; and those who are poor are at higher risk. The state is taking steps to increase safety by changing the way roads are built. This has resulted in a decline of nearly 6 percent in fatal pedestrian accidents since 2011.

There are inherent risks when going out as a pedestrian and with the increasing number of ways in which an accident can happen, people need to be vigilant. Texting and driving is a common cause of crashes, as is driving under the influence, operating a vehicle recklessly, and failing to adhere to traffic laws. Regardless of how it happens, the serious injuries and fatalities that can result from a pedestrian accident can leave a family in ruins financially, personally and emotionally. This is why it is important for those who have been affected by a pedestrian accident to consider discussing the matter with an attorney who is experienced in a wide variety of car accidents.

Source:, "Florida not friendly to walkers -- Big metros get bad grades; Marion averages 9.8 pedestrian deaths per year," Jim Ross, Jan. 13, 2017

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