On many days, Florida’s weather is unbeatable. Residents and visitors often take advantage of the beautiful climate and scenery by taking a walk – around their neighborhood, to a nearby destination, or while out for an evening on the town.

Unfortunately, in many of Florida’s most popular cities, being on foot can be a serious danger.

8 metro areas among the most dangerous for pedestrians

Pedestrian crashes throughout the U.S. have been following a concerning trend. Over the past decade, the number of people on foot who were struck and killed by a driver rose 35%, according to a recent report from a safety group. Florida is a particularly bad area for walkers, joggers and others not in a vehicle.

The group’s report spotlighted the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the U.S. for pedestrians. Here is the top 10:

  1. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
  2. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
  3. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
  4. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
  5. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
  6. Jacksonville, FL
  7. Bakersfield, CA
  8. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, F
  10. Jackson, MS

That is not a mistake. Eight of the 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are here in Florida. This makes the state, by far, the most dangerous in the U.S. for anyone on foot.

Common factors in pedestrian crashes

One of the more worrying conclusions from the report involves who is at the most risk. As the Miami Herald explains, the pedestrian death rates are highest for the elderly, minority residents, and those walking in poorer neighborhoods. Older people are frequently hit in crosswalks or at intersections, areas where they should be protected.

What is behind these tragic findings? There are many factors to consider. Street design may play a role, with roads often catering to vehicle traffic over pedestrian traffic. The popularity of SUVs – which are more likely to seriously injure or kill victims – is also worth mentioning. But too often, a crash simply comes down to negligent driving.

Speeding, distracted driving, aggressive maneuvers and impaired driving are all choices a motorist can make. By engaging in these behaviors, they are choosing to drive recklessly and put pedestrians in harm’s way. For many victims and their loved ones, holding those drivers accountable for their actions is a key part of moving forward.