What States Are Most Dangerous for Pedestrians?

Pedestrians are at an increased risk for serious injuries if they are hit by a car. But what states are the most dangerous when it comes to walking around town?

These types of accidents are caused by negligent motorists who do not pay close enough attention while driving or intentionally drive recklessly, leading to them veering onto a sidewalk or blowing through a red light at an intersection. These actions can expose pedestrians to significant bodily harm, as they are not protected from the high-speed impact of a collision with a large motor vehicle.

Some states where pedestrians are at a higher risk of suffering a pedestrian accident include Florida, New Mexico, California, and South Carolina. These states have high pedestrian accident and fatality rates, making them the most dangerous states for pedestrians. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, you could file a pedestrian accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to pursue compensation for damages.

Most Dangerous Pedestrian - State Map

Dangers That Can Cause Pedestrian Accidents

One of the most dangerous types of personal injury accidents is a pedestrian accident that involves a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian. These types of accidents commonly occur when a motor vehicle driver exhibits negligent driving behavior behind the wheel, such as distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving, that causes them to drive directly into a pedestrian. They can cause bodily harm that results in severe injuries when they crash into a pedestrian on a sidewalk or crossing through an intersection.

According to a report from Smart Growth America called Dangerous By Design, the 2010s saw an uptick of 45% more pedestrian accidents than the previous decade. Over 53,000 pedestrians died from pedestrian accidents during the 2010s, with about 14 daily fatalities. The 2020s have also been dangerous for pedestrians, with pedestrian accident fatalities surging by 21% more than in 2019.

Read more: Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Florida is the Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians

Flag of Florida

The most dangerous state for pedestrians in the 2010s and 2020s is Florida. The Smart Growth American study tracks the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the United States where the most pedestrian accident fatalities occur. Florida has four metropolitan areas in the top ten for the most pedestrian accident deaths: Jacksonville, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford.

The Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach metropolitan area ranked as the most dangerous metro area in the United States with the most pedestrian accident fatalities. Florida is dangerous for pedestrians because of congested traffic, wide intersections that are hard to cross quickly, and crosswalks placed too far apart. The state can have more pedestrians than other states because of the walkable tourist attractions, such as its theme parks and beaches, leading to more people being exposed to accidents because of the reckless driving of motorists.

Pedestrians in New Mexico Are at a Major Risk of Being Hit

New Mexico is also one of the most dangerous states in the US for pedestrians, ranking highly in pedestrian accident fatalities. According to the Dangerous By Design study, Albuquerque is the second most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States. In 2021, New Mexico saw 103 deaths from pedestrians while walking.

The reason for the high number of pedestrian accident fatalities in New Mexico is the same as in other states: poor road design, congested traffic, and drivers not paying close attention while driving. Albuquerque is a highly-populated metropolitan area with a lot of traffic and many people wanting to commute on foot. Mistakes from drivers are exacerbated by poor road design, contributing to a high number of pedestrian accident fatalities in New Mexico.

Annual Pedestrian Fatalities are High in California

California is another state with a high number of yearly pedestrian accident fatalities and dangerous metropolitan areas. California has the second-highest number of metropolitan areas that rank in the top ten of Dangerous By Design’s most dangerous metropolitan areas. These metropolitan areas include Fresno, Stockton, and Bakersfield.

In 2021, pedestrian accident fatalities accounted for 25.6% of California’s traffic-related fatalities. About one-fourth of pedestrian accident fatalities in California came from hit-and-run accidents. California has some of the most highly congested streets in the United States, with a lot of cars stuck in traffic that can engage in reckless driving behavior that can cause pedestrian accidents.

South Carolina is One of the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians

Flag of South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the other most dangerous states in the nation for pedestrian accidents. Its pedestrian accident fatality rate is 60% higher than the national average. The metropolitan area of Charleston-North Charleston ranks as the fifth most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States.

The issue with South Carolina that leads to its high pedestrian accident fatality rate is the design of its roads. They were designed with vehicles in mind to allow them to go as fast as possible without considering that pedestrians would need places to walk safely.

Additional States That Are Dangerous for Pedestrians


Mississippi state flag

Mississippi has the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the country, with 2.5 pedestrians killed per 100,000 residents. This is more than double the national average of 1.1 pedestrians killed per 100,000 residents.


Arkansas state flag


Wyoming state flag


Alabama state flag


Louisiana state flag

Louisiana has the fifth-highest pedestrian fatality rate, with 2.0 pedestrians killed per 100,000 residents.

Helping to Lower Pedestrian Accidents Across the US

If you are a pedestrian, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe, including:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Use crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
  • Walk on well-lit streets and sidewalks.
  • Avoid walking at night or in high-traffic areas.
  • Wear bright clothing so that drivers can see you.

If you are a driver, there are also a number of things you can do to help keep pedestrians safe, including:

  • Be patient and give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Slow down and look for pedestrians before turning or changing lanes.
  • Do not text or talk on the phone while driving.
  • Be aware of pedestrians, especially children and the elderly.

Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Victims of pedestrian accidents can experience damages that affect their financial situation, physical health, and quality of life. These can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in one of the above dangerous states, you could file a pedestrian accident claim to pursue compensation for damages.

Hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer is your best option for recovering compensation for damages. They have the experience to know how to handle the process, what paperwork you need to file, and what steps to take to put you in the best position to recover fair compensatory damages.

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Claim

At The Russo Firm, our pedestrian accident lawyers have experience helping victims of pedestrian accidents who suffer severe injuries that can cause significant pain and suffering. They can help you calculate your damages, determine the at-fault party, assess the viability of your case, collect evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement.

Whether you were struck by a vehicle while crossing an intersection, walking on a sidewalk, or leaving a bus, our pedestrian accident lawyers can use their expertise, experience, and resources to put you in the best position to succeed. Contact us for a free pedestrian accident case evaluation today at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.

Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

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