Anyone who’s ever lived in a big city can tell you how dangerous something as simple as crossing the street can be. City streets like Philadelphia’s are always hectic, and intersections are some of the worst offenders, making urban intersections doubly hazardous for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a staggering 40% of U.S. car accidents in 2008 occurred at intersections – an estimated 2,324,400 crashes. In this article, car accident injury lawyer Brent Wieand counts down some of the worst intersections in Philadelphia for injuries and crashes.
What Factors Make Intersections So Dangerous for Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Joggers?
Each type of road presents special dangers. Highways, for example, are hazardous primarily because of their high speed limits. Rural roads are dangerous because they may not be maintained as well as they should be, and it’s more likely for a wild or domesticated animal to run into the path of oncoming traffic. Urban streets are dangerous because they are often congested with city drivers jockeying for space, which creates the perfect environment for aggressive driving to hurt someone.
Like different types of roads, intersections also carry their own set of hazards. To quote the NHTSA, which provides a succinct explanation in a 2010 report on U.S. intersection collisions, “Crashes often occur at intersections because these are the locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes.” Throw design flaws like broken lights, faded paint lines, poor visibility, or difficult-to-see signage into the mix, and the potential for disaster increases – especially if any drivers are fatigued, intoxicated, distracted, impatient to get home, or simply have disregard for the rules of the road.
In fact, driver errors cause far more intersection accidents than external factors, though poor road design of course increases the risk of a collision. According to the NHTSA report, “Of… 787,236 intersection-related crashes, about 96% (756,570 crashes) had critical reasons attributed to drivers, while the vehicle- or environment-attributed critical reasons were assigned in less than 3% of these crashes.”
Bike Organization Lists 12 Worst Intersections in Philadelphia for Crashes and Injuries
According to the Philadelphia Streets Department, the City of Brotherly Love contains about 2,525 miles of highways and city streets. That might not sound like much, but stretched into a straight line, it nearly covers the distance from the East Coast to the West Coast. Meanwhile, “The Traffic and Street Lighting Unit has 2,950 signalized intersections, 15,000 conventional stop intersections, and 3,000 all-way stop intersections under its jurisdiction” – nearly 21,000 intersections total.
With so many intersections, it’s not surprising that accidents happen. What is surprising is how many of these accidents are concentrated at a handful of locations. According to a report released by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) in June 2015, here are the top 12 most dangerous intersections in Philadelphia, counting down to the worst of the worst:
- Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad Street – 13 accidents from 2009 to 2013
- 63rd Street and Market Street – 13 accidents
- 12th Street and Market Street – 13 accidents
- Wayne Avenue and Chelten Avenue – 13 accidents
- 11th Street and Market Street – 14 accidents
- 40th Street and Market Street – 15 accidents
- Lehigh Avenue and Broad Street – 16 accidents
- Olney Avenue and Broad Street – 16 accidents
- Roosevelt Boulevard (Lincoln Highway/US-1) and Cottman Avenue – 16 accidents
- Girard Avenue and Broad Street – 16 accidents
- Race Street and Broad Street – 17 accidents
- 5th Street and Olney Avenue – 19 accidents
While the BCGP report focuses on cyclists, the dangers of these intersections threaten everyone, including pedestrians, joggers, skateboarders, and even other drivers. And the danger isn’t contained to Philadelphia, either – the most dangerous roads in Pennsylvania jeopardize motorists all over the state.
Hit by a Car or Bus in Center City? Call an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
If you got hit by a car or hit by a SEPTA bus while walking or riding your bike in Center City, South Philly, West Philly, North Philly, Chinatown, Rittenhouse, Fairmount, University City, Kensington, Grays Ferry, Northern Liberties, or other neighborhoods of Philadelphia, you may be able to get compensated for your injuries, including medical bills and lost earnings. But you shouldn’t have to go against an insurance company’s attorneys on your own. Insurance companies are notorious for making paltry settlement offers or denying accident claims outright, which is why you need an aggressive and experienced personal injury attorney on your side protecting your rights.
To learn more about whether you have a personal injury claim in a free legal consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm at (800) 481-5206. SEPTA accident lawyer Brent Wieand has extensive experience helping Philadelphia crash victims and surviving relatives of wrongful death victims get compensated. Brent also handles cases throughout the Delaware Valley, including Bucks County, Berks County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*