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Dangerous by Design Report

Closer Look at Pedestrian Deaths


The Dangerous by Design report (4th edition) is available for download @ ( The report is from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, with support from ASLA, AARP and Nelson Nygaard.

There are more than 1,200 'Complete Streets' policies in place at the state, regional and local levels, and federal agencies have made national policy changes to make streets safer. Despite these efforts, between 2005 and 2014, 46,149 pedestrians were killed by cars in the U.S. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, 4,884 pedestrians were killed by cars, an average of 13 pedestrians struck and killed each day.

This startling data and a closer look at pedestrian deaths is examined in Dangerous by Design 2016 (, the 4th edition. Dangerous by Design ranks the 104 largest metro areas in the country, as well as every state, by a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). PDI is a calculation of the share of local commuters who walk to work and the most recent data on pedestrian deaths. Based on PDI, the 20 most dangerous metro areas for walking in the U.S. are:


The report says that non-caucasians account for 34.9 percent of the national population, but make up 46.1 percent of pedestrian deaths. This disparity is most pronounced in North Dakota. Native Americans account for almost 38 percent of pedestrian deaths there, but represent only 5% of the state's population.

One assumes older adults are more at risk, and that is borne out. "People 65 years or older are 50 percent more likely than younger people to be struck and killed by a car while walking," says the report. "Even after controlling for the relative amounts of walking among these populations, risks continue to be higher for some people of color and older adults--indicating that these people most likely face disproportionately unsafe conditions for walking."

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January 22, 2019, 12:02 pm PST

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