These 20 Cities are the Most Dangerous for Pedestrians in 2022

Pedestrians should always keep their wits about them when traversing busy streets, but walkers in these 20 cities should especially be on high alert for careless — or reckless — drivers.

For those looking to experience a city to its fullest, walking is often the best way to do so. Finding new restaurants or shops, appreciating urban scenery, and meeting new people are all easiest when traveling by foot. Plus, walking offers exercise and fresh air that most other means of transportation — especially driving — can’t match.

Unfortunately, many Americans cannot enjoy this pleasure as much as they might want. Nationally, less than 3% of Americans walk to work, while more than 80% of commuters drive themselves or carpool.[1] This means that automobile traffic often dominates city travel, even in densely populated areas where pedestrians are common.

Because of this constant vehicle traffic, pedestrians should always be on high alert when crossing streets and intersections, though drivers have recently been making this task more challenging. Rates of dangerous driving behavior, including speeding and reckless driving, are on the rise across America, endangering all who use the roads.[2] Not all cities are the same, however, and some have drivers who make walking the streets an especially hazardous activity.

Curious to see where drivers most often jeopardize walkers’ safety, data scientists at Insurify turned to their database of over 4.6 million car insurance applications to identify the 20 cities that are most dangerous for pedestrians in 2022.

Other studies take only pedestrian motor vehicle fatalities into account when determining the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, but this data alone may not paint the whole picture. Citations for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian occur nearly 20 times more frequently than pedestrian deaths and thus may represent a more widespread pattern of behavior toward pedestrians.

The Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians in 2022

Insights

  • National average. Across all U.S. cities, 4.07 out of every 10,000 drivers report a prior violation for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Fortunately for walkers everywhere, this infraction is quite rare: drivers who have this citation on record are about as common as Americans who have two different-colored eyes.[3]
  • Riskier to walk in coastal cities. Maybe it’s something in the ocean breeze, but drivers on both the East and West Coasts are more likely to report a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian. In fact, of the 20 most dangerous cities for walkers, a whopping 14 are in coastal states, most notably in Northern California and the greater New York City area. This trend also mirrors the country’s population density: hazardous regions in California and on the Eastern Seaboard are some of the most tightly-packed areas in the country where walkers and cars are more likely to cross paths.[4] On the whole, New York City is the eighth most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country; Staten Island’s drivers are the least pedestrian-friendly of any borough’s.
  • Where walkers are safest. Despite recent spikes in hazardous driving behavior, motorists in Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, and Memphis, TN, are especially mindful of walkers. These three cities each are home to only 0.69, 1.25, and 1.29 drivers per 10,000 who have received a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

The 20 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians in 2022

Methodology

The data science team at Insurify, a platform to compare auto insurance quotes , referred to its database of over 4.6 million insurance applications to determine the most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians.

When applying for car insurance, drivers disclose information such as where they live and their driving history, in addition to any moving violations on their record within the past seven years. For each U.S. city with over 50,000 residents — the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of an urban area — Insurify’s data scientists calculated the proportion of drivers reporting one or more citations for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. The top 20 cities with the highest share of these drivers were ranked as the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in 2022.

The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s analysis of over 4.6 million car insurance applications. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.

The 20 Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians in 2022

20. Casper, Wyoming

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 19.4 (4.8 times greater than the national average)

19. Plainfield, New Jersey

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 19.5 (4.8 times greater than the national average)

18. Palo Alto, California

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 19.8 (4.9 times greater than the national average)

@GreyBox

17. Lodi, California

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 19.8 (4.9 times greater than the national average)

16. Reno, Nevada

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 20.4 (5.0 times greater than the national average)

15. Brockton, Massachusetts

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 20.5 (5.0 times greater than the national average)

14. Merced, California

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 24.1 (5.9 times greater than the national average)

13. Roswell, Georgia

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 25.4 (6.2 times greater than the national average)

12. Albany, New York

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 25.7 (6.3 times greater than the national average)

11. Jersey City, New Jersey

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 25.7 (6.3 times greater than the national average)

10. Sparks, Nevada

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 26.8 (6.6 times greater than the national average)

9. Duluth, Minnesota

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 27.6 (6.8 times greater than the national average)

8. New York, New York

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 29.1 (7.1 times greater than the national average)

7. Hillsboro, Oregon

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 29.4 (7.2 times greater than the national average)

6. Sioux City, Iowa

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 29.5 (7.3 times greater than the national average)

5. Manchester, Connecticut

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 30.6 (7.5 times greater than the national average)

4. Roseville, California

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 31.6 (7.8 times greater than the national average)

3. Concord, California

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 36.9 (9.1 times greater than the national average)

2. Schenectady, New York

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 38.1 (9.4 times greater than the national average)

1. Elizabeth, New Jersey

  • Drivers per 10,000 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian: 46.7 (11.5 times greater than the national average)

@GreyBox

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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