As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, a new study just released has determined that metro Orlando has the most dangerous streets in the country for pedestrians in areas of at least one million residents. The study determined that the problem in Orlando, like much of the country, is that roads are wide and built primarily for automobiles to travel at higher speeds and not designed with pedestrians in mind. In Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties, 115 people were killed after being hit by cars or trucks during 2007 through 2008. That number is considered extremely high because relatively few people walk in the area, instead opting to drive or take public transportation. According to the study by the Transportation For America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, “the few people who do walk in Orlando face a relatively high risk of being killed.” The study’s “pedestrian danger index” ranked Orlando number one because of its high fatality rate of 2.9 deaths per 100,000 residents despite the small number of residents who walk to work. The group advocates making pedestrians a priorty in transportation planning to make roadways safer for pedestrians.
The Orlando Sentinel conducted its own analysis of Florida crash data between 2007 and 2008 and found that:
-Seminole, Orange, Lake and Osceola counties had 1,887 crashes involving motor vehicles and pedestrians.
-115 pedestrians were killed, including 66 in Orange County, 18 in Lake, 16 in Osceola and 15 in Seminole.
-At least 839 pedestrians in the region were injured, including 181 who were seriously injured.
-Eighteen pedestrians were killed along Colonial Drive or just past Colonial on its cross streets, while 17 more died on or just past Orange Blossom Trail. Nine more died on Semoran Boulevard, seven on U.S. Highway 192, and five more on State Road 44. See map below of more dangerous intersections.
-942 bicyclists were struck by motor vehicles in Central Florida which led to thirty deaths.
These numbers are staggering and unfortunate. At the law firm of Earle & Smith, we’ve had the privilege of helping pedestrians and bicyclists who have been injured in accidents with careless automobile drivers. Most of the time, the offending motorists say they never even saw our client before hitting them. Pedestrians must use sidewalks and crosswalks, watch out for motor vehicles, and carefully follow the rules of the road, especially traffic signals. For more tips on pedestrian and bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Map of Dangerous Intersections in Central Florida: