Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area ranks 23rd for pedestrian deaths, study says

Published: July 14, 2022 6:53 AM EDT
Updated: July 17, 2022 2:13 PM EDT
According to a new study by smartgrowthamerica.org, Florida is number two in the nation when it comes to pedestrians being struck and killed by vehicles.
Pedestrians crossing the street. Stock photo by Steven Arenas

According to a new study by smartgrowthamerica.org, Florida is number two in the nation when it comes to pedestrians being struck and killed by vehicles. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area ranked 23 on the list out of 100.

The group’s “Dangerous By Design” report looked at dangerous walking areas between 2016 and 2020. Among the top twenty most dangerous metropolitan areas, seven are in Florida.

Daytona Beach ranked number one as the most dangerous place to walk in the nation. Albuquerque, New Mexico came in at number two followed by Memphis, Tennessee.

The Tampa/St. Petersburg was the metro area ranked fourth in the nation as the place where you are most likely to be struck and killed by a driver. From 2016-2020 there were 559 fatal pedestrian deaths throughout the area.

“It can definitely be dangerous. Especially in the city, in the congested areas,” said Jayson Miller.

“I look out for people who don’t use turn signals and that cross in the pedestrian crosswalk because people do that a lot,” said Jamie Steele.

Other state metro areas to make the top 20 list include Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (14th), Jacksonville (6th), Orlando (8th), Melbourne/Palm Bay (12th), and Sarasota/Bradenton (19th).

The study found people who live in lower-income communities were killed at a higher rate.

“Low-income communities are significantly less likely to have access to parks and other opportunities for safe recreational walking and are less likely to have sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and street design to support safer, slower speeds. Lower-income neighborhoods are also much more likely to contain major arterial roads built for high speeds and higher traffic volumes at intersections, exacerbating dangerous conditions for people walking.”

The study also found the number of people struck and killed while walking reached a new high in 2020. More than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking in 2020, an average of nearly 18 per day, a 4.5 percent increase over 2019 and a 62 percent increase since 2009.