Home to the Happiest Place on Earth, cruise ships central and sunny beaches galore, Florida has a lot of great things going for it.
So it might come as a surprise to learn that a recent study conducted by WalletHub has listed Florida as the third most dangerous state in the country.
What makes a state dangerous?
Taking 52 different indicators into account, such as crime rates, uninsured motorists and employment rates, the authors of the study looked at many different factors and grouped them into 5 separate categories:
- Personal & Residential Safety
- Financial Safety
- Road Safety
- Workplace Safety
- Emergency Preparedness
These categories were the baselines for what they considered the biggest safety measures each state should have in order for residents and visitors to feel secure.
Where does Florida rank?
Florida came out with a final score of 36.42, calculated by using the following rankings in each of the 5 categories:
- Personal & Residential Safety: 40
- Financial Safety: 34
- Road Safety: 48
- Workplace Safety: 45
- Emergency Preparedness: 45
According to the study:
“Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of safety. We then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.”
So what states were the safest and most dangerous?
Minnesota came in strong in almost every category with the highest score of 64.43. The state with the lowest score was Mississippi at 33.11.
Why is Florida so dangerous?
There are many potential reasons why the Sunshine State ranked toward the bottom of this study, but one of the big reasons is motor vehicle accidents.
When it comes to road safety, Florida has one of the highest population rates for uninsured drivers and has been cited more than once as being the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Between 2008 and 2017, 5,433 pedestrians in Florida died because they were hit by a car while crossing the street or walking on the side of the road.
Over 650 of those fatalities occurred in Central Florida alone, which means the Happiest Place on Earth is also the most dangerous place in the U.S. to walk. Part of this unfortunate reality of living in Florida might be due to the large influx of tourists and travelers passing through each year on their way to the theme parks or to board a cruise ship. It’s easy for drivers unfamiliar with the roads and navigating heavy traffic to accidentally hit a pedestrian.
Methods for improvement
There are several ways that Florida lawmakers can (and should) reduce these fatalities, such as signing new laws, engineering better streets and cars, educating the public and improving poor road conditions. This will go a long toward creating safer roads for drivers and pedestrians in Florida.
Of course, no state or country is perfect, which is why Florida residents must also do everything they can to make our state a safer place to live and work.
Alexander Sledschlag, Professor of Homeland Security at Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg, also recommends “in order to arrive at a balanced judgment, you should weigh those long-term risks higher in your personal risk acceptance calculation.”
The same goes for crossing the street. Remember to look both ways, heed stoplights and cross at designated areas to avoid being hit by oncoming vehicles, especially at night.
If you were injured in a serious accident, contact an experienced Tampa injury attorney who will fight for the benefits you deserve. Lorenzo & Lorenzo offers quality representation, bilingual services and will meet you anywhere to discuss your case.