LEE COUNTY, Fla. — According to a new report done by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the U.S. had the highest number of pedestrian deaths in nearly three decades in 2018, with Florida being one of the states with the highest number of deaths.
The report says some of the reasons behind the rise in pedestrian deaths could be due to unsafe infrastructure, unsafe driving behaviors and simply because more people are on the streets. It says these deaths increased by 35% in 2018.
Florida is one of five states that accounted for almost half of all pedestrian deaths in the country last year. Specifically, Cape Coral and Fort Myers rank as the 8th most dangerous metro area in the country for people crossing the street.
Florida Highway Patrol says some of these deaths boil down to poor decisions both drivers and pedestrians are making. Drivers can be distracted behind the wheel, and people aren't crossing the street the right way. Either people aren't using the cross walk, or aren't using the pedestrian crossing signal when it's available.
The Governors Highway Safety Association report says Florida officials are doing a lot to improve pedestrian safety, including allocating $1 million to lighting improvements in 2,500 priority locations across the state to increase visibility of people using the streets at night. For a closer look at the report, click here.