Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walker's Paradise

I was taking a few rare moments from my recent business related only time on the Internet this AM to peruse some of the news from around the globe.  I hit the regular sites, Drudge Report, Drudge Retort, NY Times, Google News, etc.  An interesting article on pedestrian death rates popped up on my radar.  It appears that if one has a penchant for running over pedestrians, Florida is prime hunting ground.  I assume it is the concentration of old fogies that makes it easier pickings. 

If one likes to walk with a sense of safety, New England seems to be Walker's Paradise.  My own state comes in at number 45, New Hampster at 44, and Massachusetts is a relatively safe 42.  And while Alaska can claim being the 2nd safest state to hoof around, Vermont comes in as the safest place to wear out those new Reebok walkers you just bought.  If you want an edgier walk while up here in the North East, head to Connecticut (29th), or Rhode Island (31st).

I guess it is no surprise that states with more rural and less urban would be safer to walk in.   Cram more people and cars into smaller spaces and the interactions between the two groups will have a higher percentage of ugly results.  Why then does the State of New York come in at a lofty 39th?  No place is more crowded than New York City.  Throw in all the other urban areas in that state and I would have expected New York to be at least breathing down Florida's neck for the top spot.   I guess there might be something to the notion that New Yorkers are born street smart. 

I've been to New York City many times.  Only once did I come close to taking out a pedestrian.  Matter of fact it would have been a three-fer.  But I went on auto pilot and stopped inches from rolling over a very big black woman with a child clutched in each meaty hand.  She stepped back from the front of my GMC tractor trailer, looked up at me with eyes the size of pie plates.  I looked down at her with my pie plate eyes.  A scowl came across her face and she screamed, "Fucking Asshole", then proceeded to continue her Jay Walk across the street, dragging her scared shitless children behind her.  I will admit I checked my drawers when I finished the 6 blocks left to the Bronx Food Market.

47,700 plus pedestrians have been mowed down by cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, or bikes between 2000 and 2009.   That breaks down to almost 5000 people a year. The article goes on to say that while automobile deaths have dropped dramatically, drops in pedestrian deaths have not enjoyed a similar decline.  The pedestrian death rate is hardly chump change when compared to other causes of death in this country.   But in the hierarchy of what we die from, getting nailed by a moving vehicle is just another hazard of living in an increasingly crowded country.


 Image from "I don't Brake for Nuns"



wonder where texas was...we dont walk in texas..we mosey.

Kulkuri said...

Could the difference be the drivers?? It takes longer for old people to hit the brakes.

The Blog Fodder said...

Any research on WHO does the hitting? I think Kulkuri might be right. Poor vision and poor reflexes.

I mean why hit an old lady? No points awarded for anyone over 60. Jaywalkers with kids - now that gets bonus points!

jadedj said...

I was surprised at this. I have been to Boston many times with my ex-wife whose parents lived there. I thought there was a local ordnance of some sort which stated Boston motorists were required to run over at least 2.5 pedestrians per week. I always considered it the most dangerous city to walk in, in America.

Btw Granny, there are some mosey places down there in West and North Florida as well. This report obviously has to do with Central and South Florida.

BBC said...

Why then does the State of New York come in at a lofty 39th?

Maybe they are more aware that they can get mowed down there?

I would be more interested in the stats for areas than states, every state must have some areas more safe than others.

I don't know where Washington sits, but its pretty safe for walkers here.

MRMacrum said...

YELLOWDOG GRANNY - Up Maine, it's more of a shuffle, saunter and scuff your heels.

Kulkiri - If it's the drivers then how the Hell did Mass come in at 39th? Mass drivers are whacked.

Blog Fodder - Research is way overrated. Like most of the folks out there, a limited number of facts and innuendos are all we need to form ironclad opinions.

jadedj - You said it. But I think the rule in Mass is "you have to "attempt" to hit 2.5 pedestrians per week. Just to keep those shiftless losers wearing out shoe leather on their toes. Yes, I do believe it is a state ordinance.

BBC - It shouldn't take more than a teaspoon of smarts to figure out you are living in a dangerous environment. For those who don't catch on, well then I guess those folks are the ones who end up under the bumper.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Alaska results don't surprise me. I spent eleven years in AK - in the bush villages where there are few cars.

Alaska hosts a population of only 626,932 (in comparison, the population of Maine is listed at 1,274,932 – approximately double the population of Alaska.)

The Farmington, Maine population, where I live,is 7922 – there are only five communities in Alaska larger than Farmington.

However, if you could looked at Alaska's snowmobile and four-wheeler accidents/deaths (most would not be reported) the rate would be staggering.
the Ol'Buzzard