A year of stay-at-home orders and work-from-home mandates hasn’t led to safer trips for motorists in Philadelphia. Somehow the number of traffic fatalities in 2020 has moved higher and higher to approach record levels for the city.
The frightening rise in deadly crashes in 2020 is all the more shocking when you consider we have yet to flip the calendar on this pandemic-dominated year.
Deadly 2020 on Philadelphia Streets
PBS WHYY-TV reported on this deadly year of COVID-19 tragedies, by looking at the costs in human life caused by another killer, motor vehicle accidents.
The Philadelphia Police Department confirms 111 fatal automobile crashes in the city through October. That number grows to 119 deaths when including several accidents that are still being investigated. Either number means 2020 is the deadliest year for the city dating back to 1997 when 137 people lost their lives in crashes.
The accident rates already dwarf the 75 people that were killed in 2019 in Philadelphia from January to October. PennDOT found that by the end of 2019, 91 people had lost their lives on City roadways. 2020 has already well surpassed that no matter what measure you use.
Pedestrians and Bicyclist Dangers in 2020 Philadelphia
The tragedy of 2020 extends to pedestrians and cyclists as well, the most vulnerable travelers on Philadelphia streets.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia tracks tragic vehicular crashes daily. By their count, 2020 had already seen 126 fatal crashes by the end of November. That heartbreaking number includes 45 pedestrian deaths. By comparison, all of 2019 saw 29 pedestrian deaths in Philadelphia County according to PennDOT. There have already been four bicyclists killed in 2020. 2019 saw two cyclists killed over the entire year.
Also included in that 126 fatalities collected by the Bicycle Coalition are 47 victims were in vehicles and another 28 on motorcycles. In another tragic turn, the Coalition reports 27 of these incidents involved a hit-and-run driver.
Pedestrian Study for Philadelphia
It’s not surprising that Pedestrians are suffering in 2020, because pedestrians were always been at elevated risk even before the pandemic. Now that there are fewer drivers, but perhaps more reckless driving, pedestrians have to be extremely careful crossing the road.
Some of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians and bicyclists continue to offer unsafe conditions for anyone on foot or bicycle in 2020. The Bicycle Coalition finds that 10 of their reported fatalities in 2020 have occurred on Roosevelt Boulevard.
According to a pedestrian study commissioned by Edith Pearce and the Pearce Law Firm of Philadelphia, Roosevelt Boulevard has been the most hazardous place for anyone on foot for many years. Bustleton Avenue and Broad Street have also led to a frightening amount of accidents and will continue to be unsafe places for the foreseeable future.
The study includes a survey of local residents and finds the constant construction projects around Philadelphia and the sidewalks they block are the top concern of Philadephia pedestrians. While the pandemic slowed development for a few months, construction seems to be booming again, leaving some pedestrians out in the street trying to avoid plywood, chainlink fences, and orange barrels. For more on the results of that pedestrian survey, check out the study.
Calming Philadelphia Traffic in 2021
With a difficult year coming to an end, it may be that all of the loss associated with the pandemic has served to conceal some of the other tragedies taking place on local streets and highways. Philadelphia has never been the safest place for drivers, riders, and pedestrians, but it may take a record-breaking and devastating year to send a wake-up call to city leaders and all drivers to make changes the city can live with. 2021 offers a chance to make real-time corrections to avoid repeating the mistakes of the very recent past.
Contact Philadelphia’s Pearce Law Firm
If you’ve been the victim of a serious accident due to the actions of a careless driver contact a Philadelphia lawyer who will fight for the rights of her clients. You weren’t to blame for your injury and you shouldn’t have to worry over hospital bills and lost paychecks as you try to heal and get back on your feet again.
Contact local attorney Edith Pearce for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. She has worked for insurance firms in the past and is uniquely qualified to take them on to get the compensation you’ll need in recovery.