Man Killed While Crossing North Broad Street in Philadelphia
Ryan Zavodnick | December 5, 2019 | Pedestrian Accidents
A recent traffic accident in North Philadelphia claimed the life of an elderly. According to news reports, the man had just left a gas station and was attempting to cross North Broad Street when he was struck by a passing car shortly after 5 AM. The man, who was in his 70s, was transported to a local hospital but did not survive the extent of his injuries.
The driver involved in the crash remained at the scene but was not charged with a crime. However, he may still face civil liability for his role in the Philadelphia pedestrian accident.
Philadelphia is a Dangerous City for Pedestrians
Philadelphia has a lot of foot traffic. However, many of the city’s streets aren’t exactly the safest place for pedestrians to walk. In 2017, there were 96 fatal traffic accidents in Philadelphia.
More than 40 percent of those fatal accidents – 41 out of 96 – involved pedestrians. Together, pedestrians and bicyclists account for about 45 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in Philly.
Which Streets and Intersections in Philadelphia Are the Most Dangerous for Pedestrians?
Philadelphia, like many other cities, has launched a Vision Zero initiative. The initiative’s goal is to eliminate traffic accident deaths in the city by a set date. For Philly, that target date is 2030.
In order to reduce traffic accidents and eliminate fatalities, the city had to come up with a plan of action. The first step was to identify which intersections and corridors posed the greatest threat to motorist, bicyclist, and pedestrian safety.
According to data compiled by the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the following intersections are where most pedestrian accidents reported between 2009 and 2013 occurred:
- Fifth Street & Olney Avenue
- Broad Street and Race Street
- Broad Street & Girard Avenue
- Cottman Avenue & Roosevelt Boulevard
- Broad Street & Olney Avenue
- Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue
- Market Street and 40th Street
- Market Street and 11th Street
- Chelten and Wayne Avenues
- Market Street and 12th Street
- Cobbs Creek, Market Street, and 63rd Street, and
- Cecil B. Moore Avenue & Broad Street.
Intersections aren’t the only site of accidents involving pedestrians. Even though pedestrians are encouraged to cross the street at a marked crosswalk or intersection, that’s not always the case. So, parts of certain streets in Philly tend to see a lot of pedestrian accidents, too. This includes many stretches of Broad Street, where the accident discussed above took place.
Why Are Pedestrian Accidents So Common in Philly?
Pedestrian accidents happen quite frequently in Philadelphia. So frequently, in fact, that the city had to take action to make it a safer place to walk around. There are a lot of reasons why pedestrians are involved in car accidents in Philadelphia. These are among the most commonly cites:
- Drivers distracted by phones, other devices, and even passengers
- Pedestrians focused on their phones, rather than the traffic around then
- Drivers engaging in aggressive behaviors behind the wheel, particularly around intersections
- Pedestrians crossing the street somewhere other than a crosswalk or intersection
- Motorists failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Motorists making unsafe or illegal turns, and
- Darkness, weather, and road conditions.
As you can see, both pedestrians and motorists can cause traffic accidents.
In Pennsylvania, liability is apportioned among everyone who shares fault. Injured parties and recover compensation as long as they are not primarily (more than 50 percent) at fault for the accident.
Families of Fatally Injured Pedestrians Can Seek Damages
The right to demand compensation doesn’t cease to exist just because the victim doesn’t survive their accident. In those situations, family members may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and ask to be compensated for their losses stemming from the fatal crash. In Pennsylvania, this right is typically reserved for spouses, children, and parents.
When family members file a wrongful death claim, they have to prove that their loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident because someone else was negligent. In other words, their loved one is gone because of someone else’s harmful or careless behavior.
If a wrongful death claim is successful, family members can potentially recover damages for funeral and burial costs, medical expenses paid before death, and money the victim would have contributed to the family had they survived the accident. Damages may also be available to compensate immediate family members for the emotional and psychological toll of the victim’s death.