Orlando metro area ranked most deadly in nation for pedestrians

For another year in a row, the Orlando metro area has ranked as the most dangerous place in the nation for pedestrians.

Despite a pandemic keeping many at home, pedestrian deaths remained high.

There were a reported 740 pedestrian deaths from 2010 to 2019 in the Orlando metro area which spans from Sanford to Kissimmee.

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But in 2020, the year of the coronavirus when many businesses shut down and people were urged to stay home, the data shows the number of pedestrian deaths remained high even though car crashes went down.

"The fatalities have remained the same – they are still somewhat high even considering that the crashes have been reduced almost by half in some counties and so we’re attributing that to speed," said Emily Hanna, executive director of Bike Walk Central Florida. "If you are struck by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour you have a 9 in 10 chance of surviving. But at 40 miles an hour you have a 1 in 10 chance of surviving that."

The Dangerous by Design report said when streets became less congested, the design of our roads allowed people to speed.

Some of the most dangerous spots for pedestrians include State Road 50, Orange Blossom Trail, and State Road 436.

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One way the non-profit organization is trying to improve pedestrian safety is by traveling the area with the Best Foot Forward program, an educational operation where law enforcement catches care ignoring the yield law for pedestrians.

"What we’re doing in our community is working, we just need to give it time," Hanna said. "It’s taken us 50 years to build the infrastructure that we have that unfortunately is killing vulnerable road users, but we at least started putting our best foot forward – pun intended – for trying to prevent that from continuing."

Officials said Floridians are all pedestrians at some time or another -- and to remember that when they’re behind the wheel of a 2,000-pound vehicle.