With pedestrians deaths on the rise across the country, Louisiana has become one of the most dangerous states. According to reports from the Times-Picayune, Louisiana ranked third on the list of of states where pedestrian safety is at the most risk. Only Florida and Alabama were deemed less safe for those who walk.

The data came from a report by Smart Growth America, which measured people who walk to work combined with pedestrian fatality information available. Baton Rouge and New Orleans and Metairie area lead the state for most dangerous areas for those who walk. The reports also indicate that the elderly and people of color were at a greater risk of being hit by a car and killed while walking. The risk also increases for people who have lower household incomes and and for those who are uninsured, which means that the people who are at the greatest risk of being hit by a car are the least able to pay to treat their injuries.

Changes to street design to assist pedestrians could make a difference. This could include adding more lighting or installing median islands so pedestrians can cross part of a road and wait for the other half to become clear without standing exposed to traffic in the middle of the street. Reducing the speed limits is another way to reduce deaths.

Reports from KADN indicate that in the past 12 months there is data on, Louisiana saw a 15 percent spike in pedestrian deaths, which is even more than the 11 percent increase seen nationwide. Across the country, pedestrian fatalities have reached to almost 6,000, which is the most there have been in nearly 20 years.