Two cars collided while racing each other southbound on North Roosevelt Blvd near Bridge St. A third vehicle was struck as the cars lost control. Police say that due to the high speeds, all three cars were seriously damaged but fortunately no one was injured. At this point, there hasn’t been a decision made on what charges will be filed.
Street Racing Dangers
Street racing is a problem in cities and towns all over the country. It poses a risk of serious injury to those doing the racing as well as those watching the race. In all too-many cases, innocent bystanders have been injured or killed.
Arizona State University’s Center for Problem-Oriented Policing conducted a survey and found that street racers come in two primary demographics. One is young divers between 18 and 24 who race primarily for bragging rights and prestige. The other is predominantly older (25 to 40) white males who race muscle cars they have spent years building and enhancing specifically for racing. The study also found that both groups pose specific dangers to the community outside the obvious speed and risk of collisions:
- auto theft,
- assaults (including assaults in retaliation for failure to pay racing bets),
- drunken driving and driving under the influence of drugs,
- gang-related activity,
- insurance fraud (relating to racers betting on outcomes),
- illicit gambling ,
- noise complaints,
- public intoxication/urination and other public order offenses,
- theft and fencing of auto parts,
- thefts from autos,
- trespassing, and
- vandalism and littering.
Street Racing on Roosevelt
The area where the accident mentioned above occurred is a popular street racing site in Philidelphis. The layout of the street contributes to this as North Roosevelt Blvd is a massive street having 10 lanes which are divided into four separate streets. Each street is divided from each other making five lanes going north and five south with the six inner streets separated by a guard rail.
It is the inner streets that attract the racers. The inner six lanes travel under a traffic circle and continue for about a half of a mile between Large St and Bridge St without any cross streets or lights. Since they are one-way, it gives the competitors three lanes in which to race.
It is this stretch where the cars above were racing, and there is tragic history that should pose as a warning for all racers. In 2013, a 24-year-old man was racing on Roosevelt Boulevard and failed to slow down to avoid a mother and her four sons. The mother was thrown 200 feet, and three of her sons – ages 4, 1, and 7 months – died while her 5-year-old son survived. Recently, the man responsible was sentenced to 17 to 34 years in prison for four counts of third-degree murder.
What Should I do If I’m Injured by a Street Racer
Street racing is illegal in Pennsylvania, and a violation of the statute provides for a significant fine and significant amount of points on the racer’s license. The charges can also include negligent or reckless driving, high speed, and vehicular assault charges (including murder) depending on the circumstances.
If you are injured by a street racer, the law calls for specific criminal punishments, but this doesn’t automatically mean that you will get compensated for your injuries. You need to make a claim for your injuries that may include filing a claim in civil court. Though it’s possible to do this without an attorney, it isn’t advised. There are many issues that could derail your claim.
It doesn’t matter how reasonable or personable the insurance company agent is, he or she still have one job to do: pay as little as possible. Insurance companies don’t make a profit if they give out too much money, so they only pay out what they have to.
You need an attorney that understands street racing laws and has experience dealing with insurance companies. Don’t wait until they start treating you poorly before you contact an attorney. Some mistakes can’t be undone, so the sooner you have someone working for you, the better off you are.