Pedestrians - Beware Of Detroit's Deadliest Areas!

Detroit is a city full of history and rich culture. Over the years, the Motor City has faced numerous trials and setbacks, but today there is a newfound excitement in Detroit. People are making their way back and investments are being made to revitalize the city. While Detroit is in the midst of a major comeback, some serious problems need to be addressed in order to continue the city’s upward development. One of the issues currently at the forefront is pedestrian safety.

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From 2010-1016, Detroit had the, “highest per-capita pedestrian death rate… in the nation for large cities,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The Michigan Law Firm, PC discussed this alarming statistic earlier this month. Of the 139 square miles that make up Detroit, some areas pose a greater threat to pedestrians than others. Specifically, the Detroit Free Press identified three areas that have historically been more dangerous for pedestrians, including Gratiot, the west side of the city near 7 mile, 6 mile, and Greenfield, and Downtown Detroit.

In the Gratiot area, 8 pedestrians lost their lives within the, “half-mile stretch of Gratiot Avenue between Greiner Street and East 7 Mile Road.” Out of the 8 victims, 3 were women and 5 were men. The youngest to die in a pedestrian car crash on Gratiot was 14 years old and the oldest was 82 years old. The 5 men killed were between 21 and 60 years of age.

On the west side of Detroit, a total of 13 pedestrian fatalities took place approximately around, “West 7 Mile Road, Ferguson Street, Florence Street, and Lauder Street.” Over half of the lives lost in this “hot spot” were women. The male and female pedestrian car crash fatality victims  were between the ages of 25 and 71.

Not surprisingly, Downtown Detroit has been dangerous for bicyclists in addition to pedestrians. In a period of 8 years, 7 pedestrian fatalities occurred within, “1-square-mile...in the heart of the city on Woodward just north of Campus Martius.” Once again there was a wide age range amongst the pedestrians killed, with the the oldest, and also the only female, pedestrian killed being 90 years old, and the youngest pedestrian killed being a 21 year old male.

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In order to understand and prevent future pedestrian car accidents, it’s essential to recognize the similarities that these pedestrian fatalities share. First, alcohol did not a play a role in any of the 28 pedestrian accident fatalities, which means that the very serious problem of drunk driving did not contribute to these Detroit pedestrian deaths. Additionally, 22 out of the 28 pedestrian deaths, or more than 75% of the pedestrian fatalities, took place during nighttime hours when the city was dark. The fact that so many pedestrian car crash deaths happened in the dark leads to the theory that pedestrian fatalities are being caused by low visibility in Detroit streets, and not due to driver negligence by drunk driving or drugged driving. These pedestrian car accidents may have actually been accidents, that the at fault drivers couldn’t prevent. Although Detroit has added 60,000 street lamps over the past few years, it appears that more lighting needs to be installed, particularly at these three deadly Detroit locations, to prevent pedestrian car accidents. Lastly, 18 out of the 28 pedestrian car accident fatalities occurred at a non-intersection location. This means that the existing crosswalks are not helping shield the high pedestrian death rate, and city officials must focus on implementing safer pedestrian infrastructure.

Many Detroiters walk or ride their bikes to get around the city on a daily basis. These pedestrians should be able to get to their destinations safely and conveniently, without having to take risks that could result in a fatal car accident. As Detroit comes back stronger than ever, the city’s residents and tourists need to feel safe. Lowering the pedestrian death rate is one step towards a safer and more prosperous Detroit.


While the pedestrian death rate in Detroit is particularly high, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere and at anytime. Drivers should remain alert when behind the wheel and actively scan the road for pedestrians, as well as any traffic obstacles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands how difficult dealing with pedestrian car accident lawsuits can be without even factoring in the severity of recovering from pedestrian car accidents injuries. Our experienced accident attorneys handle serious injury cases throughout the State of Michigan and can help victims of pedestrian accidents recover any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Detroit's Dangerously High Pedestrian Death Rate

In Detroit, cars are not just a mode of transportation; cars go beyond a hobby, or general interest. Here, they are a way of life. Two of the big three automobile manufacturers have their headquarters in the Motor City, along with many major auto suppliers. Later this summer, thousands of classic and modern cars will be cruising the Woodward Dream Cruise. Simply put, Detroiters love cars!

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While motor vehicles are often the center of attention, it’s become clear that the city also needs to pay attention to pedestrians. According to the Detroit Free Press, in the US in 2016 there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities, 29 of which took place in the City of Detroit. This number may seem insignificant, yet Detroit received the, “highest per-capita pedestrian death rate - 34.5 per 100,000 residents - in the nation for large cities in 2010-2016.”

Pedestrian fatalities in Detroit differed in several ways from pedestrian fatalities that took place in other cities. Between 2009-2016, only 6% of Detroit pedestrians were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their deaths, which is 30% lower than the nationwide percentage. Also in Detroit, within the same time period, 80% of pedestrians were struck “after dark,” versus 72% across the US. Similarities do exist between Detroit and the rest of the country in terms of pedestrian fatalities, such as the gender of the individual who lost their life, and the location of the car crash. Males accounted for 73% of pedestrian deaths between 2009-2016, and male or female, the fatalities occurred 77% of the time at non-intersection locations. Nationwide, as well as in Detroit, pedestrians killed were, on average, 49 years old.

The statistics relating to hit and run pedestrian car crashes also are a cause for concern for Detroit. Nationwide, hit and run car crashes made up 18% of all car crashes between 2009-2016. In Detroit, hit and run car accidents were an alarming 46% of of all car accidents,  32% higher than the national average!

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In light of these shocking pedestrian car crash fatality statistics, action has been taken to help make the city safer for those traveling by foot. Recently, Woodward Avenue at Jefferson Avenue was closed and a pedestrian plaza was added. Lanes were removed from East Jefferson Ave. to Grosse Pointe Park, and in its place, “bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure” were added. To help prevent the prominent concern of pedestrian deaths taking place at night, 60,000 street lights were installed. Over the course of the next few years, Detroit will also be fixing approximately 125,000 run-down sidewalks.

Detroiters should note that city officials are mindful of all the pedestrian fatalities occurring in the area. Detroit’s Department of Public Works investigates pedestrian car crashes, and from their analysis, looks into what could prevent pedestrian car accidents from occuring. The Department’s staff also improves crosswalks by adding, “crosswalk signs and inspect[ing] pedestrian crossing signals for proper timing and display.”

The issue of pedestrian deaths is highly complex and has no simple answers. The main dilemma is that most Detroit roads were built with cars in mind, putting pedestrians at a disadvantage. Because of the existing infrastructure, individuals traveling by foot or bike are forced to take road navigation risks, and may attempt to cross a street where it is not safe to do so. The biker or walker may believe they can beat traffic, but the odds of beating a car are not in their favor. It’s clear that even more changes need to be implemented in the city, including at the very least, additional crosswalks and stop lights. When out and about in Detroit, pedestrians should be able to conveniently get where they need go, without having to fear for their lives.


When an automobile accident occurs between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is substantially more vulnerable than the driver. After all, there’s no comparison between one individual and a 4,000 pound car. Detroiters who commonly ride their bikes or walk around the city should locate and use designated crosswalks, as well as be on alert whenever they are in the path of any vehicle. The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands how devastating pedestrian car accidents can be. Our experienced attorneys are here to help car accident victims with their legal burdens so they can focus on taking care of themselves. For a free legal consultation, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Detroit Ranked #1 in Pedestrian Fatality Accidents

Detroit Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyer

Citizens of Detroit, Michigan have many gripes about the city including construction, decay, and of course traffic. While, the city itself is going though some improvements, citizens still have every right to be upset about traffic however, as the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) just issued a report showing that Detroit has the highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population. In fact, the NHTSA calculates that in 2015 alone, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes - that’s the highest it’s been since 1996.

Alcohol Kills Pedestrians

The NHTSA contributes that most of the pedestrian accidents are caused by alcohol consumption. To be exact, 48% of the accidents involved either the pedestrian or the driver consuming alcohol before the crash occurred. Also to be noted is that fact that most of the accidents occurred during the winter months (December, January, and February) and predominantly at night time. 

NHTSA Safety Precautions 

Safety Precautions For Pedestrians:

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  • Pedestrians should use crosswalks when they are available and walk in the direction against traffic. 
  • Be cautious! Electronic devices such as cell phones and music devices play into 'inattention blindness’ in which wearing headphones can make the wearer tune out of their surroundings. Also, pedestrians should keep in mind to not wear any headgear that may rest too low on their face or cover the eyes.
  • Drivers won't always see pedestrians due to distractions, blind spots, sun glare, or poorly lit areas. So, it should go without saying that wearing reflective gear or bright clothing to improve visibility is also advisable. 
  • Most importantly, avoid using drugs and alcohol before going out. As the NHTSA study shows, drugs and alcohol play a major role in pedestrian deaths.

Safety Precautions For Drivers:

  • Abide by state set speed limits.
  • Keep in mind that stopped cars could possibly be stopping to allow for pedestrians to cross the road, especially at crosswalks. 
  • Be alert! Pedestrians won’t always walk or be visible in places that motorists usually expect them to be. 
  • Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both will hinder coordination and judgement when driving. 

Safety Reminder

With summer fast approaching, citizens of Detroit should remember that both motorists and pedestrians play a part in sharing the road and keeping it safe for everyone. By following the safety precautions listed above, the people of Detroit can work together to make Detroit safer and to bring down Detroit's traffic fatiality ranking. 


Police can only do so much in catching and preventing drivers or pedestrians from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Loved ones must also do their due diligence in making sure friends and family arrive at their destination unharmed and alive. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pedestrian accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. Our firm will fight to help you identify and receive any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan Law. Call us today, at 844-4MI-FIRM.