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Pedestrian Fatality Study Underscores Georgia’s Poor Record

Georgia ranks at the bottom of the heap when it comes to protecting pedestrians from serious or fatal injuries in accidents.

According to a new study, a small group of states accounts for some of the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country.The study was conducted by the National Complete Streets Coalition, where researchers analyzed numbers involving more than 47,025 pedestrian fatalities that occurred over a 10 year period. When analysis of the data was complete, some states were found to have an abysmal record in keeping pedestrians safe and preventing accidents.

The study established a Pedestrian Danger Index, which measured the number of fatalities relative to the number of pedestrians on the street, and found that some states had managed to keep fatalities very low. These included New York and Washington DC.

However, at the other side of the spectrum were the states where pedestrians were at a high risk of being injured or killed in accidents. These states included Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia.

It’s interesting how many cities in the south were included in the most dangerous places to walk. According to the study, the metro Orlando region was the most dangerous area for pedestrians with a high rate of fatalities, followed by the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Jacksonville, Miami, Memphis, Birmingham, Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

It’s not a coincidence that these areas also tend to be auto-centric areas where neighborhoods have wide streets that encourage high speeds. Such conditions are typically dangerous for pedestrians. The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region saw a total of 839 pedestrian fatalities between 2003 and 2012, with an annual rate of approximately 1.59 fatalities for every 100,000 people. The Pedestrian Danger Index for this region was 119.35, compared to a high of 244 for the Orlando region which ranked at the top of the list.The Orlando data are particularly troublesome since the Disney World Resort draws many families with small children to the area.

According to the study, certain types of pedestrians seemed to be at a much higher risk of being involved in accidents. Children and seniors had a higher risk of being struck by cars while walking, as well as groups that have a greater percentage of workers walking to their jobs.