If you live in the Birmingham area, you are in one of the riskiest metro areas in the United States for pedestrians. Walking to work or for recreation is very popular because of the health and environmental benefits. Unfortunately, people in Birmingham cannot count on getting safely to their destination because of the substantial risks to pedestrians.
It is not just people who walk in Birmingham who are at risk, either. The state of Alabama has found to be one of the most dangerous places in the entire United States for pedestrians. Drivers are in large part to blame for this, as many drivers either do not know or do not follow the rules of the road. Motorists need to make sure they pay attention, watch for pedestrians, and yield whenever a pedestrian has the right-of-way so that person will not be harmed by unsafe driving behaviors.
Assessing the Risk of Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama
Next City conducted research into pedestrian accidents and published a report of how the states compare when it comes to pedestrian safety. A report was also compiled of the most dangerous metro areas, as well as the riskiest states.
To determine which locations were the least safe for walkers, Next City looked at pedestrian deaths between 2005 and 2014 and compared the number of deaths with the state population. This provided useful information in terms of the death rate based on how many people live in the state. However, this was not necessarily the best measure of actual risk because some states have a significantly higher share of pedestrians in comparison to total population, while others have a significantly lower share of pedestrians compared with residents.
To get a very accurate picture of how many people are getting hurt compared to how many people are actually walking, the researches looked at the number of people who walk to work. Although an imperfect measure of how many pedestrians actually walk regularly in an area, it is the best available info. By comparing the number of walker deaths to the number of people who walk to work, the researchers were able to create a pedestrian danger index.
It is this pedestrian danger index that clearly shows how risky it is for people to walk in Alabama. The state of Alabama was found to have the second highest pedestrian danger index of all states in the United States. The Birmingham metro area also had the 13th highest pedestrian danger index of 104 different metropolitan areas studied.
The difference between Alabama and safer cities was dramatic. In Alabama, the pedestrian danger index was 136.6. In the safest state, Vermont, it was 11.4. In Birmingham, the pedestrian danger index was 132.1. In the safest city, Colorado Springs, it was 13.5. Clearly, things need to improve in Alabama for pedestrians as the risk they face right now is significant.