The Orlando, Kissimmee, and Sanford area continues to rank as the most dangerous place in the nation for pedestrians, a national report published early Wednesday morning.

The number of pedestrians fatally struck by vehicles over the last 10 years has increased 45 percent, with people of color, older adults, and people walking in low-income neighborhoods being killed at significantly higher rates, according to “Dangerous by Design,” a 2021 report published by Smart Growth America.

The Orlando metro area,  which in the report includes Sanford and Kissimmee, had 740 pedestrian deaths from 2010 to 2019.

The “Dangerous by Design” report says that the number of pedestrians fatally struck by vehicles across the United States was 53,435 over the last decade(2010-2019). The 6,237 people struck and killed is equivalent to more than 17 people killed per day nationally.

The report goes on to say that the risk is not evenly distributed with black Americans, older adults, people walking in low-income communities, and American Indian or Alaska Native people all being killed at higher rates and facing higher levels of risk compared to all Americans.

The “Dangerous by Design” report ranked their top 20 most dangerous metro areas, taking into consideration differences in population and walking rates:

1) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
2) Bakersfield, CA
3) Memphis, TN-MS-AR
4) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
5) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
6) North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
7) Jackson, MS
8) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
9) Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
10) Jacksonville, FL
11) Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
12) Albuquerque, NM
13) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
14) Greenville-Anderson, SC
15) Stockton-Lodi, CA*
16) Baton Rouge, LA
17) Birmingham-Hoover, AL
18) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX*
19) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA*
20) El Paso, TX*

When streets “became emptier, they became more deadly because the designs of our roads encourage people to drive quickly, and without congestion, there’s nothing to stop it,” said Beth Osborne, transportation director for Smart Growth America director.

The twenty states with the highest Pedestrian Danger Index ratings are Florida, Alabama, New Mexico, Mississippi, Delaware, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California, Missouri, Maryland, Michigan, and Kentucky.

Positively Osceola will host a LIVE discussion with Kristen Arrington, member of the Florida House of Representatives in District 43, and Emily Hanna, Executive Director with Bike/Walk Central Florida, which administers Operation Best Foot Forward, an initiative focused on education and bringing awareness to drivers the importance of safe and focused driving in crosswalks in and around Osceola County. Representative Arrington has filed a Bill in the current legislative session that is designed to support Operation Best Foot Forward.