Being a pedestrian in this day and age is dangerous. In the decade between 2003 and 2012, 47,025 people died while walking on the street. That's 16 times the number of Americans that died in natural disasters over the same period.
Researchers determined a Pedestrian Death Index (PDI) by calculating the rate of pedestrian deaths and the overall number of pedestrians found on the streets over a ten-year period. The number isn't perfect -- it doesn't include the 676,000 pedestrians that were injured in a crash, for instance -- but it does indicate the likelihood of being killed while walking in a city.
Nationally, the PDI average is 52.2. With a PDI 224.28, four times higher than the national average, Orlando is the most dangerous city for pedestrians, according to the study. Orlando is followed in the top five by Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami and Memphis.
The study found the most dangerous cities for pedestrians to be located in what is known as the Sunbelt, which is an area that extends across the American South from east to west. These are cities that were designed around cars at the height of the post-war building boom. They have wide artillery streets with high speed limits, which are especially dangerous for pedestrians. The safest cities in the U.S. tend to be older cities in the north that sprang up when the fastest thing around was a horse and cart.
The report called on Congress to fund more alternative-transportation-friendly initiatives to make roads safer for pedestrians. AARP helped fund the study, as the elderly are disproportionally affected in pedestrian crashes, along with ethnic minorities, immigrants and children.
This isn't the first time Florida has been singled out for their bad driving habits. Last year, Slate crunched the numbers and found Miami, a city which experiences 35 hit-and-runs a day, guilty of having the worst drivers in America.