A Tale Of Two Cities: North Port and Bradenton Are The Most Dangerous Cities For Pedestrians in the U. S.

The Florida Suncoast is well-known for its stunning beaches, beautiful weather, and vibrant culture and as a result, we have been rapidly growing in population. However, beneath the sunshine and palm trees lies a darker reality. According to recent studies, North Port, the second fastest-growing city in the US, and Bradenton ad city under constant development, are two of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the United States. As an accident attorney representing injured clients in Sarasota and Manatee counties, I have personally seen the devastating impact these types of accidents can have on individuals and their families. Let us explore the statistics and reasons behind this alarming trend and provide some recommendations for improving pedestrian safety in North Port and Bradenton.

The Startling Pedestrian Crash Statistics

A recent report by Smart Growth America (2021) revealed that Florida is the most dangerous state in the U.S. for pedestrians, with North Port and Bradenton topping the list of hazardous cities. The study found that between 2010 and 2019, the number of pedestrian fatalities in these two cities increased by 45% and 40%, respectively (Smart Growth America, 2021).

Another study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (2021) supported these findings, noting that Florida accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in the nation in the first half of 2020. In particular, North Port and Bradenton were highlighted as cities with the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities, with 3.33 and 3.19 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively (Governors Highway Safety Association, 2021).

As alarming as those statistics are, for those of us who live here it's not all that surprising when you consider roads like Tamiami Trail, US 301, Price Blvd., and Manatee Avenue. Roads like these are basically jammed with heavy traffic, have lots of intersections, and yet speeds can be quite high. Attempting to travel around on foot or on a bicycle on roads like this, whether it's in North Port or in Bradenton, is a risky endeavor.

Why Are North Port and Bradenton So Dangerous for Pedestrians and Cyclists?

Several factors contribute to the high rate of pedestrian accidents in North Port and Bradenton

Urban design: Both cities were designed with an emphasis on motor vehicle traffic rather than pedestrian safety. Wide, high-speed roads and a lack of pedestrian infrastructure, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals, create a dangerous environment for walkers (Smart Growth America, 2021).

Increased traffic volume: The population of both North Port and Bradenton has grown rapidly in recent years, leading to increased traffic and congestion on local roads. This puts additional pressure on existing infrastructure and increases the likelihood of accidents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021).

Distracted driving and walking: The proliferation of smartphones and other electronic devices has led to an increase in distracted driving and walking. This significantly increases the risk of accidents, as both drivers and pedestrians are less likely to be aware of their surroundings (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2021).

Population growth and urban sprawl: The rapid growth of these cities has led to urban sprawl and increased reliance on automobiles for transportation. This, in turn, contributes to more vehicular traffic and greater risks for pedestrians.

Recommendations for Improving Pedestrian Safety

To combat the alarming trend of pedestrian fatalities in North Port and Bradenton, several measures can be taken:

Implementing Complete Streets policies: These policies prioritize the needs of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users. This can be achieved through better street design, including wider sidewalks, well-marked crosswalks, and traffic-calming measures (Smart Growth America, 2021).

Enhancing public transportation: By improving public transit options and access, residents will be less reliant on personal vehicles, reducing traffic volume and the likelihood of pedestrian accidents (American Public Transportation Association, 2021).

Launching public awareness campaigns: Educating both drivers and pedestrians about the importance of safe road behavior, including reducing distractions and obeying traffic laws, can help decrease the number of accidents (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2021).

The high rate of pedestrian fatalities in North Port and Bradenton is a cause for concern. However, by understanding the factors contributing to this issue and implementing targeted solutions, we can work together to make our cities safer for everyone. As an accident attorney, I am committed to advocating for the rights of pedestrians and their families.

The statistics and rankings for these areas are alarming, but they do capture the human toll of pedestrian accidents. Each year, hundreds of people in Florida lose their lives or suffer serious injuries due to pedestrian crashes, and many more are affected by the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath.

Getting Compensation After Being Hit By A Vehicle

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident in the Southwest Florida area, contact an experienced attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh so we can go over your legal options for pursuing compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Smart Growth America, Dangerous by Design 2021.

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