Report looks into pedestrian deaths

Many Michigan residents walk along busy streets every day to get to work or run errands. According to a report from Smart Growth America, pedestrians are more at risk for being killed by cars if they live in poorer neighborhoods. Pedestrian deaths are also disproportionately higher among minorities, the elderly and people without health insurance.

The SGA report ranked cities across the U.S. based on pedestrian danger and found that several in Florida are the most dangerous places to walk around in the country. While the highest number of pedestrian deaths occur in the country’s most populated cities, the Pedestrian Death Index that was used in the report showed that smaller metro areas are actually more dangerous. The PDI rated pedestrian danger by comparing pedestrian deaths to the number of pedestrians that a city has. The top seven cities with the highest PDI scores were all in Florida, and Cape Coral-Fort Myers topped the list.

City design, not driver behavior, was blamed for the high rates of pedestrian deaths. The SGA report found that many pedestrian deaths could be prevented with better infrastructure that is geared towards pedestrian safety. Roads that feature more sidewalks, crossing signals and pedestrian islands could make pedestrians safer.

When people are killed in auto-pedestrian accidents, their surviving family members often have to deal with financial issues in addition to their grief. On top of having to pay for a funeral and burial, they in many cases have to replace the financial contributions that the decedent had been making to the household budget. If it can be determined through the police report and other evidence that the death was caused by a negligent driver, an attorney might suggest the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit as a way of obtaining compensation for these and other losses.