Florida’s warm climate and beautiful scenery make it a natural place for people to want to spend time outside. Whether strolling through town, taking the dog for a walk or going for a run, people should be able to feel they are safe to enjoy the activities they love. Unfortunately, it seems that when on foot, people face a growing risk as pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of people on foot killed in automobile accidents jumped by 35% from 1990 to 2018. An NPR report on the data indicates that last year, the nation recorded over 6,200 pedestrian deaths. The 2018 pedestrian fatalities represent an increase of four percent over 2017.

The Verge explains that the advanced safety features often found in new vehicles today do not seem to be working in all instances, at least in terms of protecting pedestrians. A study conducted by AAA found that pedestrian dummies were hit in 60% of test cases. The crash test vehicles used for the study were all equipped with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection alert systems. The study was conducted in the daytime and the vehicles were only traveling at 20 miles per hour.

Driver distraction is one factor that may contribute to the jump in pedestrian deaths. The preference for larger vehicles may also contribute to the trend given their increased weight and size that may result in more extensive injuries to a pedestrian upon impact compared to those induced by a smaller car traveling at the same rate of speed.