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How Reckless Driving Endangers Philadelphia Pedestrians

Pedestrian Accidents Increasing in Philadelphia

Between 2009 and 2020, pedestrian accidents increased by more than 59%. In 2020, nearly 7,000 pedestrians died while crossing the street, which accounted for 17% of all traffic fatalities that year. If you or your loved one were the pedestrian in an accident in Philadelphia, speaking with an Allentown personal injury lawyer could help you protect your rights and obtain payment for your medical bills and other expenses related to the accident.

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise

Although both pedestrian and vehicular traffic dropped during the shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, when analysts compared crash rates to miles driven, they found that the accident rate increased by 21% compared to 2019, which was the largest increase ever recorded in fatal crashes. Most accidents occurred between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am and in non-crosswalk areas.

Why Pedestrian Accidents Are Trending Upward

Law enforcement and transportation safety officials have several explanations for the increase in pedestrian fatalities. When the roads emptied during the COVID-19 pandemic, the drivers who were on them frequently drove well above the speed limit. The increased speed caused more severe injuries and a higher risk of death upon impact with a pedestrian. Philadelphia's Driving Equity bill stops police officers from pulling over drivers for minor offenses. The city's police force also has a no pursuit policy for traffic violations. Sociologists postulate that a change in social attitude may also be contributing to the upward trend in pedestrian accidents. More selfish behavior on the road, increased anger, and a lack of interpersonal contact or connection with others results in more dangerous driving behaviors. Hit-and-run accidents are also on the rise, which advances the theory of a lack of social responsibility and connectedness to one's community as some of the reasons for aggressive driving.

Philadelphia's Most Dangerous Roadway for Pedestrians

Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard is the city's most dangerous roadway for pedestrians. This thoroughfare has had the most crash fatalities for several years. Both pedestrians and cyclists are at an increased risk of getting hit by vehicles while traversing this roadway. The multiple lanes of traffic, relatively high rates of speed, and some confusing intersections contribute to the high crash rate, but distracted, fatigued and negligent driving, as well as driving under the influence, also cause the high rate of pedestrian accidents.

High Accident Rates Aren't New

Philadelphia has a longstanding reputation for aggressive drivers, and they aren't just aggressive with other vehicles. They're also aggressive with pedestrians and cyclists who are trying to share the road. Over the past few years, more than 100 pedestrians have died after getting hit by a vehicle in Philadelphia.

Law Enforcement Lacks Resources

Budget cuts and social unrest have led to thinner resources for law enforcement. Rather than patrolling traffic, more officers are performing other functions. The city only investigates about 4% of the city's traffic crashes, and the majority of those are fatalities and DUI cases. Philadelphia law enforcement pointed out that the most crashes take place in the same neighborhoods where the most shootings take place. The department needs more resources to combat both issues.

Groups Aim to Decrease Pedestrian Accidents

A local group called the Bicycle Coalition advocates for more speed cameras in Philadelphia. They also want the police to rename their accident investigation division to something similar to "crash investigation" because many of these incidents are not accidents, and the word "accident" places blame on the victim. If you or your loved one were in a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia, consulting with our Allentown personal injury lawyer helps you understand your rights and how to proceed with holding the other party responsible for your injuries. To schedule a consultation, call the Philadelphia law office of Metzger & Kleiner at 215-567-6616 or the Lehigh Valley office at 610-435-7400. You may also fill out our simple online contact form, and one of our office assistants will reach out to you to schedule a consultation.

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