ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A report that has ranked New Mexico as one of the 20 states with the highest dangers for pedestrians while also ranking Albuquerque among one of the top most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians. The Dangerous by Design 2021 report by Smart Growth America takes a look at pedestrian deaths in the United States and highlights disparities in which groups are at the greatest risk of dying while walking.
The report ranks the 100 most populous metropolitan areas based on their “Pedestrian Danger Index” which calculates how deadly it is for people to walk in the area based on the number of people killed by drivers while walking. According to the report, the 2021 calculations include traffic deaths that took place between 2010 and 2019 from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
The report calculates the PDI for all 50 states as well as the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas nationwide and highlights the locations that are most deadly for those walking. New Mexico ranked 3rd in the nation of the most dangerous states for pedestrians while Albuquerque ranked 12th out of the 100 cities.
Albuquerque was among the cities with the largest increases in 10-year PDI scores which indicates the city has grown more dangerous for people walking since last year’s Dangerous by Design report was released.
The report indicates that over the past decade the number of people struck and killed by drivers nationwide while walking increased by 45%. According to the report, the four most recent years on record (2016-2019) are now the four most deadly years for pedestrian deaths since 1990 and during this ten year period, 53,435 were hit and killed by drivers.
Though the report covers data from 2010 to 2019 Smart Growth America includes a brief section on preliminary data on 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19. Even though driving was down and congestion disappeared due to the pandemic, speeding increased and thousands of more people died.
According to the report, the fatality rate for people walking in the lowest income neighborhoods was nearly twice that of middle income and almost three times that of neighborhoods at higher levels of income (measured in median household income).
While the USDOT will not release 2020 fatality data until the end of the year, the National Safety Council is already estimating a 24% spike in all traffic fatality deaths in 2020 which is the biggest increase in 96 years.
The top 20 most dangerous “Pedestrian Danger Index” metros are:
1) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
2) Bakersfield, CA
3) Memphis, TN-MS-AR
4) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
5) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
6) North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
7) Jackson, MS
8) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
9) Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
10) Jacksonville, FL11) Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
12) Albuquerque, NM
13) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
14) Greenville-Anderson, SC
15) Stockton-Lodi, CA*
16) Baton Rouge, LA
17) Birmingham-Hoover, AL
18) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX*
19) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA*
20) El Paso, TX*
(Metros marked with an *asterisk were not in the top 20 in the 2019 report.)
As part of the report, there is an interactive map that plots all deaths from 2008-2019. Anyone can type in a U.S. address to see where people have been struck and killed.