No doubt, Colorado is a great place to live. Beautiful weather, rugged peaks and Rocky Mountain hospitality—what more can you want? And our cities aren’t too bad either. Denver, Colorado’s largest city, repeatedly ranks highly on a number of illustrious (and not so illustrious) lists, including:
- 5th healthiest city in America (Forbes)
- 13th best city for “foodies” (Travel + Leisure)
- 5th best America’s beer city (CNN)
- 27th out of 100 for best places to work (Outside Magazine)
- 6th happiest city in the country (Combos, the makers of cheese-filled pretzels)
However, recently the Mile-High City also ranked highly on a list we don’t want to be on: pedestrian-related accidents.
The advocacy group Smart Growth America—whose mission is to reduce pedestrian casualties through better policies, preventable design, practice and regulation—recently released a study suggesting that most pedestrian deaths can be prevented through improved roadway design and better signage. The study also listed the nation’s most dangerous places for pedestrians based on the likelihood of a person on foot being hit by a vehicle and killed.
The Denver-Aurora-Broomsfield region came in 31st on this list, with 349 recorded pedestrian fatalities between 2003 and 2012. Colorado, as a whole, ranks 29th for most dangerous roads by having over 5,300 fatal traffic deaths in the last 10 years. On a national scale, an estimated 676,000 were injured in the same time period—meaning someone on foot was hit by a car about every eight minutes.
The top five most dangerous cities for pedestrians according to Smart Growth America are: Orlando, FL (#1), Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, Jacksonville, FL, Miami, FL, and Memphis, TN.
Click here to read the full report.
Tips for Drivers
There are several safe-driving practices that drivers should follow to reduce the risk of hitting someone on foot or on a bike. Failure to obey these road rules greatly increases the danger to others, as well as your liability in the event that an accident does occur:
- Keep your eyes on the road. Focus your eyes and attention on driving. Avoid distractions like cellphones, kids in the back seat, putting on makeup or eating in the car, etc. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second is dangerous, especially when young children are present.
- Assume pedestrians are nearby. If you see pedestrians waiting to cross, slow down; obey the law by coming to a complete stop to let them cross the street.
- Avoid pulling into or blocking a crosswalk. Blocking a crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your car and puts them in a dangerous situation. In a school zone, drivers must stop and let pedestrians cross.
To learn more about pedestrian accident prevention, read our Knowledge Center piece: “Common Pedestrian Accidents – How to Best Handle and Avoid Them.”
If you are struck by a vehicle while walking or biking, and seriously injured as a result, schedule a free consultation with Denver pedestrian accident attorney R. Mack Babcock immediately to discuss your case.