Walking instead of driving can be a great way to reduce greenhouse gases and get some exercise in.
Unfortunately, pedestrians in Florida may be putting their lives at risk when they choose to walk around high-traffic areas.
A new study reveals the dangers of being a pedestrian in Florida
According to a study by Smart Growth America, Florida is the number one most dangerous state for pedestrians. While more pedestrian fatalities occur in California, Florida’s pedestrian danger index tops the charts at 201.4. This is likely due to the design of roads in Florida, as opposed to other places.
When state and transportation agencies design roads, they place a greater emphasis on speed as opposed to safety. By designing roads with both drivers and pedestrians in mind, fatalities could drop significantly.
Roads in Florida need a better design
According to The Miami Herald, one transportation director recognizes the crux of the problem in Florida road design. Florida road rules focus on traffic flow. This results in the panning of pedestrian crosswalks as an afterthought. An increase in crosswalks, along with a design that better catches the eyes of drivers, could save lives.
Without enough crosswalks and lanes that are too wide, intersections become a danger zone for pedestrians. Instead of funneling money into fixing those problems, more money flows towards widening roads and increasing speeds. Current street designs do not seem to accommodate all users, which results in a higher fatality rate for pedestrians.
An increase in crosswalks could also help reduce speeds in high-traffic areas that contribute to pedestrian fatalities.