MoneyGeek analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 2017 to 2020 for 305 cities to determine the safest and most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the US. Cities were ranked in order from the highest overall pedestrian death rate per 100,000 inhabitants to the lowest, and included only cities with a population of 100,000 or more in their rankings.
The most dangerous cities for pedestrians
Some cities, such as Memphis, Tennessee, had more vehicle-related pedestrians (164 deaths) in four years of data than Fort Lauderdale, Florida (56 deaths), which is ranked as the most dangerous city for pedestrians. Why?
In this study, MoneyGeek calculated the average annual pedestrian death rate per 100,000 inhabitants. The population of Memphis in 2020 was 650,910. There were only 181,818 people in Fort Lauderdale. In a city like Memphis, you would expect more deaths than Fort Lauderdale, which it is. However, Fort Lauderdale is statistically a more dangerous city for pedestrians.
Memphis was ranked #4 on MoneyGeek’s list of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. Between Fort Lauderdale and Memphis are Little Rock, Arkansas at number 2 and Jackson, Mississippi at number 3. In fifth place is West Palm Beach, Florida, with 30 deaths from 2017 to 2020. is significant given its relatively small population of 111,006.
The safest cities for pedestrians
We found that Fargo, North Dakota, Pearland, Texas, and Clovis, California are the safest cities for pedestrians, each with 0.20 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents.
Among the safest cities, Santa Clarita, California (No. 11), Irvine, California (No. 12) and Gilbert, Arizona (No. 18) have populations of 200,000 or more.
Safe cities for pedestrians seem to be scattered throughout the US; the five safest cities are in California, four in Texas, two in Indiana, and one each in North Dakota, North Carolina, Washington, Massachusetts, Utah, New Hampshire, Illinois, Arizona, and Colorado.