Pedestrians may be relatively safe on Virginia roadways, but they can still face significant dangers on a daily basis, let alone while traveling to neighboring states. A study by Smart Growth America examined the dangers pedestrians face in states and metropolitan areas across the United States. Eight out of the 10 most dangerous cities were in Florida, leaving the state as the most dangerous for walkers. Virginia’s neighbors, Maryland and North Carolina, came in at number 13 and number 18 on the list.
Researchers compiled the list by analyzing a number of factors, including fatal pedestrian accidents, walking rates and other statistics. While the results zeroed in on areas where pedestrians may face a particularly substantial risk, walkers across the country are experiencing more injuries and deaths on the roadway. Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian deaths due to motor vehicle accidents escalated by 35 percent, even as vehicle safety technologies improved. Around 13 people were killed every day, for a total pedestrian death toll of 49,340 during that period.
In addition, pedestrians also make up a greater share of the total number killed in car crashes. In 2008, 11.8 percent of all people killed in collisions were pedestrians, while in 2017, that figure reached 16.1 percent. Social and economic factors also led to increased danger for more marginalized walkers. Pedestrians in low-income neighborhoods faced twice the risk of deadly collisions. In addition, black pedestrians were 73 percent more likely than white pedestrians to be killed in auto accidents.
Pedestrian accidents may lead to severe injuries and life-changing disabilities. In many cases, they are caused by negligent drivers, and people who have been the victims of a pedestrian knockdown might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for the losses that they have incurred.