The Road Safety Final Four:

How Does Your State Rank on Walking, Biking?

By Taylor Savage

Did you ever cross the street and wonder how your state is ranked for safety when you are on foot or riding your bike? I didn't either until I learned about an organization called Smart Growth America, which just released the 2021 edition of Dangerous by Design on pedestrian fatality. They use a “Pedestrian Danger Index” or PDI to rank states and metropolitan areas around the country. Simply put, it measures how safe (or deadly) it is for people to walk based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers.

How Virginia Beach and Virginia Rank

I checked out how my hometown of Virginia Beach and state of Virginia rank. Virginia Beach places 80th. While 80th may not seem so bad compared to Orlando which ranked 1st or Albuquerque which ranked 12th worst. But making the list of 100 metropolitan areas is significant because there are 384 metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Virginia placed 25th smack in the middle. Not great. As we start to think about the Final Four and do our brackets. Most probably, a team ranked 25 probably isn’t going to get very far. This is where to go to check out where you live, and bike, and walk.

Call to Action

No matter where you live or the color of your skin, you deserve safer streets. Once you’ve checked out how your state and city ranks, you can take action to make walking and biking safer by asking your representatives in Congress to co-sponsor the Complete Streets Act. The bill seeks to end the policy inequity which favors cars and trucks over people on foot or on bikes. I sent a message to my representative and it took me 51 seconds to do it. It's your turn.

Safe Kids Worldwide intern Taylor Savage is a senior at Old Dominion University.