A new report has deemed Los Angeles County the worst county to be a pedestrian — but the full picture isn't so clear-cut.
The website Auto Insurance Center reviewed the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Los Angeles County topped the list in pedestrian fatalities, followed by Arizona’s Maricopa County and Houston’s Harris County.
But there’s one caveat to the analysis’ rating system: It looked at the number of deaths, not the rate. That skews the results.
With more than 10 million residents, Los Angeles is by far the most populous county in the United States. Cook County, home to Chicago, is the second most populous, but has about five million fewer residents.
If you look at the rate of pedestrian fatalities relative to population, Arkansas’ Van Buren County is a far more dangerous place for walkers than Los Angeles. So are Miami-Dade, Riverside, San Bernardino and Philadelphia counties.
In fact, by per capita rate, Los Angeles comes in at tenth out of the 20 counties singled out in the report.
|County||Pedestrain fatalities||Population||Rate of pedestrian fatalities per million residents|
|Van Buren, AR||42||16,851||2492.4|
|San Bernardino, CA||66||2,112,619||31.2|
|Los Angeles, CA||281||10,116,705||27.8|
|Palm Beach, FL||37||1,397,710||26.5|
|San Diego, CA||84||3,263,431||25.7|
As you might expect, many of the counties on the list are among the nation's most populous, including L.A. and San Diego.
To be sure, L.A. remains a dangerous place for pedestrians. The fatality rates of children and elderly pedestrians in serious crashes in the City of Los Angeles is higher than the national average. The city's Vision Zero initiative is trying to cut the number of traffic deaths to zero by 2025 — an ambitious goal.
So L.A. County can be dangerous for pedestrians. But is it the single most dangerous? Not really.