(NEXSTAR) – Despite improvements made to vehicle safety over the past several decades, it’s more dangerous to be a pedestrian than it has been in 40 years.

A recent study found pedestrian fatalities reached a 41-year high last year, taking the lives of more than 7,500 hit while walking.

“Every day, 20 people go for a walk and do not return home. These are people living their daily lives – commuting to and from school and work, picking up groceries, walking the dog, getting some exercise – who died suddenly and violently,” said Jonathan Adkins, CEO of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which conducted the study.

Personal finance site MoneyGeek took a closer look at federal data to find where pedestrians are dying most frequently. Of the 225 cities they looked at, cities in the South scored particularly bad.

The deadliest city for pedestrians between 2018 and 2021 was Fort Lauderdale, where nearly 15 pedestrians died on average every year.

And Fort Lauderdale wasn’t the only dangerous city for pedestrians. Five cities in the Sunshine State – including Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach, Miami and Tampa – were in the top 20 deadliest cities in the country.

The 20 deadliest cities for pedestrians, according to MoneyGeek, were:

RankCityAvg. annual pedestrian deaths per 100K residentsAvg. annual pedestrian fatalities
1Fort Lauderdale, FL8.114.8
2Jackson, MS7.311.0
3Macon, GA7.011.0
4Memphis, TN6.842.5
5Albuquerque, NM6.737.8
6Little Rock, AR6.713.5
7Victorville, CA6.69.0
8Pompano Beach, FL6.57.3
9North Charleston, SC6.27.3
10Baton Rouge, LA6.113.5
11San Bernardino, CA6.013.3
12Tucson, AZ5.831.8
13El Cajon, CA5.76.0
14West Palm Beach, FL5.36.3
15Miami, FL5.223.0
16Birmingham, AL5.210.3
17New Haven, CT5.27.0
18Phoenix, AZ5.284.0
19Tampa, FL5.019.5
20Charleston, SC4.97.5

The Governors Highway Safety Association found a majority of pedestrian deaths happen at night. SUVs are also increasingly to blame. Because of their size, they’re more likely to seriously injure or kill a person they hit than a lower-profile sedan would be.

“The saddest part is that these crashes are preventable,” said Adkins. “We know what works – better-designed infrastructure, lower speeds, addressing risky driving behaviors that pose a danger to people walking. We must do these things and more to reverse this awful trend and protect people on foot. Enough is enough.”