Cities with the Most Pedestrian and Cyclist Fatalities

We analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System to see which metropolitan areas had the most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
Accident car crash with bicycle on road

Whether you're crossing the street or out on a morning bike ride, nearby motor vehicle traffic can pose a very high safety risk. We analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (NHTSA-FARS) and found that on average, 16 Americans die each day as pedestrians or cyclists involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident. That amounts to roughly 5,840 deaths per year. Using this data, we were able to pinpoint which metropolitan areas had the most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

Key Takeaways

  • For fatalities per 100,000 residents, Odessa, Texas ranks worst for pedestrians and Cape Coral, Florida ranks worst for cyclists.
  • The majority of deaths occur when pedestrians and cyclists are on local streets during times of the day when driver visibility is limited.
  • When considering nationwide pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, 29% of the victims died with reported blood alcohol content (BAC) levels above 0.08%.

Which metropolitan areas have the most pedestrian fatalities?

Below is a table ranking major metropolitan regions by pedestrian fatalities.

RankMetropolitan AreaPedestrian FatalitiesDeaths per 100,000 Residents
1Odessa, Texas6.144.12
2Macon, Georgia63.88
3Jacksonville, Florida31.143.49
4Clearwater, Florida32.293.46
5Orlando, Florida57.433.22
6Corpus Christi, Texas11.143.17
7Fayetteville, North Carolina10.293.17
8Mobile, Alabama12.713.07
9Tampa, Florida38.862.98
10Wilmington, North Carolina6.292.95
11Albuquerque, New Mexico19.572.91
12Fort Lauderdale, Florida53.142.89
13Bakersfield, California24.862.88
14Detroit, Michigan50.292.83
15Beaumont, Texas6.572.6
16San Antonio, Texas49.572.55
17Jackson, Mississippi9.712.48
18Modesto, California132.47
19Columbia, South Carolina16.572.47
20League City, Texas7.572.45
21Newark, New Jersey19.292.44
22San Bernardino, California50.712.43
23Visalia, California10.862.4
24Little Rock, Arkansas9.292.38
25Tallahassee, Florida6.712.38
26Charleston, South Carolina13.432.37
27Lakeland, Florida14.712.34
28Memphis, Tennessee21.572.31
29Cape Coral, Florida15.292.3
30El Paso, Texas18.712.26
31Nashville, Tennessee14.862.26
32Louisville, Kentucky172.25
33Atlanta, Georgia38.142.25
34Augusta, Georgia7.572.24
35Las Vegas, Nevada45.292.22
36Lubbock, Texas6.432.21
37Sacramento, California32.292.2
38Phoenix, Arizona87.712.18
39West Palm Beach, Florida29.432.13
40Pueblo, Colorado3.432.12
41Los Angeles, California210.712.11
42Reno, Nevada9.142.1
43Montgomery, Alabama4.712.07
44Stockton, California14.432.04
45Tyler, Texas4.432.04
46Athens, Georgia2.432.01
47Baltimore, Maryland27.431.99
48Tucson, Arizona19.861.99
49Fresno, California191.99
50Savannah, Georgia5.431.95
51Vallejo, California8.291.95
52Houston, Texas97.431.94
53San Diego, California61.861.92
54Tulsa, Oklahoma13.141.89
55Charlotte, North Carolina18.711.89
56Philadelphia, Pennsylvania39.291.86
57Amarillo, Texas4.571.84
58Elizabeth, New Jersey101.83
59Lakewood, New Jersey10.571.81
60Honolulu, Hawaii17.711.81
61Salinas, California7.711.81
62Indianapolis, Indiana221.8
63Riverside, California41.291.8
64Greensboro, North Carolina91.78
65Huntsville, Alabama6.141.77
66Clarksville, Tennessee3.291.77
67Dallas, Texas58.571.75
68Killeen, Texas5.711.75
69San Francisco, California27.711.75
70New York, New York143.291.71
71Oklahoma City, Oklahoma17.431.71
72Abilene, Texas2.291.7
73Fort Worth, Texas32.141.68
74Austin, Texas29.711.68
75San Jose, California30.711.65
76Brownsville, Texas6.861.65
77Jersey City, New Jersey10.861.64
78Eugene, Oregon5.861.64
79Lexington, Kentucky51.62
80Milwaukee, Wisconsin15.431.62
81Birmingham, Alabama13.711.59
82Columbus, Georgia3.141.58
83Paterson, New Jersey81.58
84Allentown, Pennsylvania5.571.56
85Santa Maria, California6.711.54
86Anaheim, California47.711.54
87College Station, Texas3.141.52
88Laredo, Texas41.52
89Kansas City, Missouri15.291.52
90Edison, New Jersey12.571.52
91Boston, Massachusetts11.291.49
92Rockford, Illinois4.291.48
93Portland, Oregon251.46
94Knoxville, Tennessee6.431.45
95Denver, Colorado32.861.44
96Salt Lake City, Utah15.431.43
97Oakland, California22.571.43
98Salem, Oregon5.711.42
99Kansas City, Kansas2.291.42
100Pearland, Texas4.711.42
101Santa Rosa, California71.42
102Springfield, Missouri41.41
103Warren, Michigan121.4
104Springfield, Massachusetts6.431.38
105North Charleston, South Carolina21.37
106Columbus, Ohio18.711.34
107Raleigh, North Carolina131.33
108Midland, Texas21.33
109Grand Rapids, Michigan8.141.31
110New Haven, Connecticut11.141.29
111Gainesville, Florida3.291.29
112Toledo, Ohio7.291.29
113Durham, North Carolina3.711.29
114Concord, California141.28
115Providence, Rhode Island81.27
116Davenport, Iowa2.141.26
117Chicago, Illinois65.861.26
118Roseville, California4.571.25
119Dayton, Ohio8.711.25
120Hartford, Connecticut10.861.21
121Ann Arbor, Michigan4.291.21
122Buffalo, New York10.861.18
123Wichita, Kansas5.861.16
124Clinton, Michigan1.141.16
125Chattanooga, Tennessee41.15
126Richmond, Virginia7.431.15
127Everett, Washington8.571.15
128Worcester, Massachusetts9.291.15
129Rochester, New York8.571.15
130Bridgeport, Connecticut10.571.13
131San Angelo, Texas1.291.12
132Billings, Montana1.711.12
133Oxnard, California9.291.11
134Spokane, Washington5.141.07
135Vancouver, Washington4.711.06
136Topeka, Kansas1.861.04
137Fort Wayne, Indiana3.711.02
138Madison, Wisconsin5.141.01
139Springfield, Illinois21.01
140Columbia, Missouri1.711.01
141Cincinnati, Ohio9.860.98
142Wichita Falls, Texas1.290.97
143Seattle, Washington19.290.94
144Tacoma, Washington7.710.94
145Boulder, Colorado2.860.92
146Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania11.290.92
147Des Moines, Iowa4.140.92
148Alexandria, Virginia10.140.9
149Yonkers, New York8.570.89
150Manchester, New Hampshire3.570.88
151Cambridge, Massachusetts13.430.86
152Syracuse, New York40.85
153Peoria, Illinois1.570.84
154Cleveland, Ohio10.570.84
155Colorado Springs, Colorado5.430.83
156Evansville, Indiana1.430.79
157Aurora, Illinois9.290.77
158Minneapolis, Minnesota11.710.76
159Murfreesboro, Tennessee2.140.76
160Omaha, Nebraska5.140.73
161Fargo, North Dakota1.140.7
162Provo, Utah3.860.7
163Akron, Ohio3.710.69
164Greeley, Colorado1.860.68
165Lansing, Michigan3.140.67
166Saint Paul, Minnesota7.290.62
167Rochester, Minnesota0.860.58
168Green Bay, Wisconsin1.430.56
169Sioux Falls, South Dakota10.56
170Boise, Idaho2.290.55
171Fort Collins, Colorado1.710.54
172Overland Park, Kansas30.53
173Lincoln, Nebraska1.570.53
174Frisco, Texas3.710.51
175Cedar Rapids, Iowa10.46

Which metropolitan areas have the most cyclist fatalities?

Below is a table ranking major metropolitan regions by cyclist fatalities.

RankMetropolitan AreaCyclist FatalitiesDeaths per 100,000 Residents
1Cape Coral, Florida5.430.82
2Tampa, Florida100.77
3Abilene, Texas10.74
4Sacramento, California10.430.71
5Clearwater, Florida6.570.7
6Fort Lauderdale, Florida12.570.68
7Lakeland, Florida4.290.68
8Stockton, California4.710.67
9Orlando, Florida11.710.66
10Jacksonville, Florida5.710.64
11Savannah, Georgia1.710.62
12West Palm Beach, Florida8.430.61
13Modesto, California3.140.6
14Visalia, California2.570.57
15Charleston, South Carolina3.140.55
16Odessa, Texas0.710.48
17Athens, Georgia0.570.47
18Wilmington, North Carolina10.47
19Boulder, Colorado1.430.46
20Tyler, Texas10.46
21Gainesville, Florida1.140.45
22Eugene, Oregon1.570.44
23Riverside, California9.710.42
24League City, Texas1.290.42
25Vallejo, California1.710.4
26Tucson, Arizona40.4
27Beaumont, Texas10.4
28Phoenix, Arizona15.860.39
29Evansville, Indiana0.710.39
30Albuquerque, New Mexico2.570.38
31Midland, Texas0.570.38
32Ann Arbor, Michigan1.290.36
33Fresno, California3.430.36
34Oxnard, California30.36
35Anaheim, California10.860.35
36College Station, Texas0.710.35
37Amarillo, Texas0.860.34
38Augusta, Georgia1.140.34
39Salinas, California1.430.33
40Santa Maria, California1.430.33
41Grand Rapids, Michigan20.32
42San Bernardino, California6.710.32
43Salem, Oregon1.290.32
44Lakewood, New Jersey1.860.32
45Greeley, Colorado0.860.32
46Brownsville, Texas1.290.31
47San Jose, California5.710.31
48Tallahassee, Florida0.860.3
49Springfield, Missouri0.860.3
50Pearland, Texas10.3
51Oakland, California4.710.3
52Durham, North Carolina0.860.3
53Spokane, Washington1.430.3
54Reno, Nevada1.290.3
55Lubbock, Texas0.860.29
56North Charleston, South Carolina0.430.29
57Detroit, Michigan5.140.29
58Clinton, Michigan0.290.29
59Rochester, Minnesota0.430.29
60Boston, Massachusetts2.140.28
61Macon, Georgia0.430.28
62Los Angeles, California27.570.28
63Fort Collins, Colorado0.860.27
64Kansas City, Kansas0.430.27
65Killeen, Texas0.860.26
66San Francisco, California4.140.26
67Concord, California2.860.26
68Santa Rosa, California1.290.26
69Syracuse, New York1.140.24
70Lansing, Michigan1.140.24
71Mobile, Alabama10.24
72Topeka, Kansas0.430.24
73Sioux Falls, South Dakota0.430.24
74Boise, Idaho10.24
75Denver, Colorado5.430.24
76Chicago, Illinois12.290.24
77Warren, Michigan20.23
78Provo, Utah1.290.23
79Toledo, Ohio1.290.23
80San Diego, California7.290.23
81Dayton, Ohio1.570.23
82Madison, Wisconsin1.140.22
83Hartford, Connecticut20.22
84Springfield, Illinois0.430.22
85Bakersfield, California1.860.21
86Columbus, Ohio30.21
87Salt Lake City, Utah2.290.21
88Indianapolis, Indiana2.570.21
89Everett, Washington1.570.21
90Rochester, New York1.570.21
91Oklahoma City, Oklahoma2.140.21
92Houston, Texas10.430.21
93Las Vegas, Nevada4.140.2
94Corpus Christi, Texas0.710.2
95New York, New York16.860.2
96Greensboro, North Carolina10.2
97Rockford, Illinois0.570.2
98Portland, Oregon3.290.19
99Philadelphia, Pennsylvania40.19
100Louisville, Kentucky1.430.19
101Lexington, Kentucky0.570.19
102Springfield, Massachusetts0.860.18
103Jackson, Mississippi0.710.18
104San Antonio, Texas3.430.18
105Wichita, Kansas0.860.17
106Milwaukee, Wisconsin1.570.16
107Chattanooga, Tennessee0.570.16
108Austin, Texas2.860.16
109Allentown, Pennsylvania0.570.16
110Elizabeth, New Jersey0.860.16
111Roseville, California0.570.16
112Buffalo, New York1.430.16
113Minneapolis, Minnesota2.290.15
114Little Rock, Arkansas0.570.15
115Lincoln, Nebraska0.430.14
116Kansas City, Missouri1.430.14
117Paterson, New Jersey0.710.14
118Seattle, Washington2.860.14
119Memphis, Tennessee1.290.14
120Akron, Ohio0.710.13
121Raleigh, North Carolina1.290.13
122Charlotte, North Carolina1.290.13
123Jersey City, New Jersey0.860.13
124Cambridge, Massachusetts20.13
125Columbia, South Carolina0.860.13
126Fort Worth, Texas2.430.13
127San Angelo, Texas0.140.12
128Bridgeport, Connecticut1.140.12
129Tacoma, Washington10.12
130Fort Wayne, Indiana0.430.12
131Atlanta, Georgia20.12
132Honolulu, Hawaii1.140.12
133Cincinnati, Ohio1.140.11
134Providence, Rhode Island0.710.11
135Dallas, Texas3.710.11
136Wichita Falls, Texas0.140.11
137Manchester, New Hampshire0.430.11
138Tulsa, Oklahoma0.710.1
139New Haven, Connecticut0.860.1
140Frisco, Texas0.710.1
141Vancouver, Washington0.430.1
142Aurora, Illinois1.140.09
143Baltimore, Maryland1.290.09
144Billings, Montana0.140.09
145Newark, New Jersey0.710.09
146Alexandria, Virginia10.09
147Pueblo, Colorado0.140.09
148Richmond, Virginia0.570.09
149Fayetteville, North Carolina0.290.09
150Fargo, North Dakota0.140.09
151Colorado Springs, Colorado0.570.09
152Columbia, Missouri0.140.08
153Birmingham, Alabama0.710.08
154Huntsville, Alabama0.290.08
155Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania10.08
156Clarksville, Tennessee0.140.08
157Peoria, Illinois0.140.08
158Saint Paul, Minnesota0.860.07
159Columbus, Georgia0.140.07
160Edison, New Jersey0.570.07
161Cedar Rapids, Iowa0.140.07
162Montgomery, Alabama0.140.06
163Omaha, Nebraska0.430.06
164Yonkers, New York0.570.06
165Green Bay, Wisconsin0.140.06
166Laredo, Texas0.140.05
167Murfreesboro, Tennessee0.140.05
168Cleveland, Ohio0.570.05
169Nashville, Tennessee0.290.04
170Knoxville, Tennessee0.140.03
171Des Moines, Iowa0.140.03
172Worcester, Massachusetts0.140.02
173El Paso, Texas0.140.02
174Davenport, Iowa00
174Overland Park, Kansas00

The above two tables rank the average number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities that occur each year for major metropolitan areas. The data shows that there are roughly seven times more pedestrian fatalities than cyclist fatalities across all regions each year. The highest number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents takes place in Odessa, Texas, and the highest number of cyclist fatalities per 100,000 residents takes place in Cape Coral, Florida.

Mapping out where fatal accidents take place

Below is a county-level gradient map showcasing regions where the highest number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths per 100,000 residents occur each year. Most fatalities occur in the southeastern, southwestern and western regions of the country. Florida leads in fatality rates, with 3.47 deaths per 100,000 state residents each year. Delaware comes in second, with 3.05 deaths per 100,000 state residents, and New Mexico comes in third with 2.93 deaths per 100,000 state residents.

Visualizing pedestrian and cyclist deaths by county

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What about roadway locations and crash times?

We also took a look at the most likely settings for fatal accidents. The data shows that most deaths occur when cyclists and pedestrians are directly on the roadway, which accounts for 90.8% of total fatalities. Of these accidents, 39.3% occur on local streets, higher than the 25.3% that occur on state highways. To make matters worse, 76.4% of fatal accidents occur when the cyclist or pedestrian is out during the early morning, evening and night, when driver visibility can be limited. Safety should always be your highest priority regardless of whether you're running, cycling or simply out on a stroll. The data shows clearly that the best move you can make as a pedestrian or cyclist is to ensure you're visible to surrounding drivers by wearing bright colors and reflective gear. The NHTSA provides further detailed safety information for both pedestrians and cyclists.

When do fatalities happen?

When Do Most Fatalities Happen?

Which roads do fatalities take place on?

Which Roads Do Fatalities Take Place On?

Where were victims during the accident?

Where Were Victims During the Accident

Which metropolitan area has the most drunken pedestrian and cyclist accidents?

We recently released a study presenting the states where you're most likely to be involved in a fatal DUI accident as a driver. However, pedestrians and cyclists aren't always sober when involved in a motor vehicle accident. When considering nationwide pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, 29% of the victims died with reported blood alcohol content (BAC) levels above 0.08%. Of the metropolitan areas we looked at in this study, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the only area where all victims were killed with BAC levels above the legal limit. In contrast, Gainesville, Florida, and Peoria and Springfield, Illinois, were the only areas where all victims killed had BAC levels below the legal limit.

RankMetropolitan AreaFatalities Above Legal LimitFatalities Below Legal LimitPercentage of Drunken Fatalities (%)
1Brownsville, Texas44295
2Corpus Christi, Texas51492
3Birmingham, Alabama62789
4Indianapolis, Indiana911883
5Fort Lauderdale, Florida2357376
6Nashville, Tennessee722375
7Warren, Michigan491873
8Jackson, Mississippi371571
9Memphis, Tennessee903671
10El Paso, Texas743369
11Fort Worth, Texas1075665
12Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania393354
13Salt Lake City, Utah625154
14Austin, Texas806953
15Detroit, Michigan15314551
16Cape Coral, Florida535449
17Clearwater, Florida10311347
18Houston, Texas25839239
19Denver, Colorado8516334
20Charleston, South Carolina377333
21Jacksonville, Florida7615732
22Atlanta, Georgia7816931
23Albuquerque, New Mexico4410629
24Orlando, Florida11327229
25West Palm Beach, Florida5312629
26Tucson, Arizona4410928
27San Antonio, Texas7820927
28Tampa, Florida8823227
29Dallas, Texas10129925
30Philadelphia, Pennsylvania6519225
31Phoenix, Arizona16451524
32Chicago, Illinois11536923
33Los Angeles, California296104522
34Portland, Oregon3913522
35Sacramento, California5419321
36San Francisco, California3713621
37San Jose, California4717920
38Anaheim, California6728519
39Las Vegas, Nevada6426419
40San Diego, California7734118
41San Bernardino, California5227615
42Riverside, California4126113
43New York, New York11394210


Data was acquired from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (NHTSA-FARS). County-level fatalities between 2010 and 2016 were used to calculate the average number of fatalities per year for each metropolitan region. County populations for calculating fatalities per 100,000 residents were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Rankings in this study are completely focused on which areas have the most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, therefore this is only one aspect to consider when grading how bike-friendly or runner-friendly a given metropolitan area is.

David Ascienzo, Ph.D., is a Data Scientist at ValuePenguin. He previously was a Doctoral Researcher in Physics at the City University of New York (CUNY). He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.