Most Dangerous Cities For Pedestrians

Pedestrians are among the few categories of road users where deaths rose. Fatalities declined in almost all segments of the population—passenger vehicle occupants, large-truck occupants, cyclists, young drivers, and with alcohol-impaired driving fatalities; only pedestrian fatalities increased by 2.2 percent, according to NHTSA. The pedestrian death rates of major cities were generally higher than the national average of 1.53 per 100,000 people in 2014. The following list is based on latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It includes cities with a population of at least 500,000 people.

Detroit, Michigan

Fatality rate: 5.88

Forty pedestrians were killed in 2014, compared to 125 total traffic fatalities. The city of about 680,000 people ranked relatively high in percentage of total traffic fatalities – 32. Detroit has ranked among the most dangerous cities for people who walk the streets, several times before – according to a study by Liberty Mutual Holding Co in 2014 and NHTSA data in 2012.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fatality rate: 5.03

In 2014, half of the people who were in a traffic accident in Albuquerque died. A total of 28 pedestrians in the city of 570,000 were killed. Local media cites a report saying that New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in the same year. Drinking – by pedestrians or drivers – was to blame.

Phoenix, Arizona

Fatality rate: 4.36

Phoenix, which has more than 1.5 million residents, also has a high percentage of total traffic fatalities – 37.9. Sixty-seven pedestrians were killed in 2014. The city's Department of Transportation notes an increase in deaths – 4.5 percent in 2011 when 33 people died than in 2010. The age groups with the highest number of pedestrian involved collisions were young adults between 18 and 25.

San Antonio, Texas

Fatality rate: 3.69

In 2014, as much as 36.1 percent of the pedestrians hit by a car in San Antonio died. The total traffic fatalities were 147, roughly about one death every two days. The danger zones, according to local authorities, are Fredericksburg, Culebra, and Bandera Roads because they have multiple lanes and long stretches without a crosswalk.

Jacksonville, Florida

Fatality rate: 3.40

Twenty-nine pedestrians were killed in Jacksonville in 2014, a little less than a third of the total traffic fatalities. The city was ranked the third most dangerous place in the entire country for pedestrians a few years ago based on data collected between 2003 and 2012, a period during which 47,000 people died while walking on the streets, 16 times more than the number of those who died in natural disasters.

Dallas, Texas

Fatality rate: 3.20

In 2014, 154 people died in traffic-related incidents and 41 of them were pedestrians. The city has designed the Dallas Pedestrian Network, a system of grade-separated walkways covering 36 blocks of downtown Dallas. Local officials say that most of the accidents are caused by a pedestrian failing to yield to a vehicle or other "pedestrian error."

Memphis, Tennessee

Fatality rate: 3.04

The total traffic fatality rate per 100,000 people in Memphis, one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., was 13.55. Twenty pedestrians were killed in 2014, about a fifth of all traffic-related deaths. Livable Memphis, a project launched by the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis, has had successes in updating the pedestrian laws in the city. Still, last year, more than 360 pedestrians were hit by cars, according to local news.

Houston, Texas

Fatality rate: 2.68

As many as 232 people died in traffic accidents in Houston. Sixty of them were people walking the streets. The city of more than 2.2 million people has ranked high in endangering pedestrians before – it was the seventh most dangerous in the nation for people on foot, according to a 2014 report from the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, a nonprofit.

Milwaukee, WI

Fatality rate: 2.50

About a third of the traffic fatalities in Milwaukee - another city on the list of most dangerous in the country - in 2014 were pedestrians. Last year, Milwaukee police, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police and Marquette University Public Safety announced a new task force to promote pedestrian safety and boost patrols in neighborhoods with historically high numbers of accidents.

Louisville/Jefferson County metropolitan area, Kentucky

Fatality rate: 2.45

Fifteen pedestrians were killed in Louisville in 2014. Louisville's pedestrian-fatality rate is above the national average of 1.53 per 100,000. Louisville Metro Police say there are countless reasons – from people crossing in the middle of the street to wearing hard-to-see dark clothing at night. Most of the accidents happen downtown.

Los Angeles, California

Fatality rate: 2.44

Forty percent of the traffic fatalities in Los Angeles, a city with some of the worst traffic in the U.S., in 2014 were pedestrians. In an analysis last year, local media found that pedestrians represent more than one-third of traffic deaths in the County, a rate higher than the national average. About 25 percent of crashes involving a pedestrian occurred in less than 1 percent of the city's intersections.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fatality rate: 2.44

Of the 97 people killed in car accidents in Philadelphia in 2014, 38 were people struck by a vehicle. The same year the city' launched an initiative, supported by a $525,000 NHTSA grant to help address a three-year trend of increased pedestrian fatalities. The funds were to be used in downtown areas for increasing police visibility and ticketing during high risk hours in 20 high-crash locations.

Fort Worth, Texas

Fatality rate: 2.34

Fort Worth, a city of more than 810,000 people, ranked high in total fatality rate per 100,000 people – 9.36. Police blame the lack of well-lit street corners and cross walks for the increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities, in addition to an increasing number of distracted drivers and walkers.

San Diego, California

Fatality rate: 2.32

Just over 40 percent of the people killed in traffic-related accidents in San Diego, with a population of close to 1.4 million people, were pedestrians. A Department of Transportation report from 2011 had the city's fatality rate at 4.9 deaths per every 100,000 people – more than twice the national average. Police say both pedestrians and drivers are to blame.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Fatality rate: 2.24

Slightly more than a fifth of traffic fatalities in Indianapolis in 2014 were people walking crossing the streets. Non-profit organizations say the city needs to add more sidewalks along busy, high-speed corridors.