Philadelphia Car Accident Statistics [2023 Update]
Philadelphia is one of the largest, busiest cities in the United States. In fact, it’s the sixth-most populated city in the country.
Every day, its population swells as workers and students commute into the city limits. As a result, it’s really no surprise that car accidents are fairly common in Philly.
How common are traffic accidents in Philadelphia, PA, though? How dangerous are they? And what can be done to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Philadelphia? Here are some important statistics relating to car accidents in Philadelphia as well as some information about how Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers can help in the event of an incident.
How Zavodnik & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
Zavodnik & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers is a prominent personal injury law firm in the City of Philadelphia. We have over 30 years of combined experience and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide you with excellent legal representation.
Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers also have experience with cases involving:
We offer a free initial consultation, so please feel free to reach out to one of our attorneys in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today.
Philadelphia Car Accidents By the Numbers
Despite the fact that Philadelphia boasts one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the country, there are a staggering number of traffic accidents in the city every year. These accidents can result in significant injuries and damages; it’s important to reach out to a reputable Philadelphia car accident lawyer in the aftermath of an incident.
How Common Are Car Accidents in Philadelphia?
While the full data for 2022 and 2023 is not yet available, the most recent report published by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation tells us that there were 10,417 car accidents in Philadelphia County in 2021 (the highest reported in any PA county). To put that number in perspective, there are an average of 28 car accidents in Philadelphia County every day. That works out to be more than one crash every single hour of every day in the year.
How Serious Are Car Accidents in Philadelphia?
Car crashes are common, but how serious are they? In 2021, 63% of accidents in Philadelphia County resulted in injury or death. And 11.1% of all fatal crashes in Pennsylvania occurred in Philadelphia County.
Perhaps most alarming is that the total number of crashes increased from the previous year (it was 10,108 in 2020). Traffic crashes are trending in the wrong direction.
Take a look at traffic fatalities over the last several years in Philadelphia County:
- 2022: 126
- 2021: 133
- 2020: 166
- 2019: 91
- 2018: 103
- 2017: 94
- 2016: 101
There have already been 30 fatalities in just the first few months of 2023.
Who Is Involved in Philadelphia Car Accidents?
Drivers of cars and SUVs aren’t the only ones on the road. Cars have to share Philadelphia streets with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Studies show that these commuters are at a greater risk of injury or death than vehicle drivers and passengers. And pedestrian deaths are spiking around Philly and around the nation.
In fact, “a higher proportion of traffic deaths are happening ‘outside the vehicle,’ a category that includes motorcyclists and their passengers as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Twenty years ago, “outside the vehicle” deaths accounted for 20 percent of all traffic fatalities. Today, “outside the vehicle” deaths account for more than one-third of all traffic accident fatalities.
So, what about in Philadelphia? How often are non-motorists involved in car accidents?
According to the most recent statistics published by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, here’s how bicyclists and pedestrians were impacted just a few years ago:
- Bicyclists: 3 cyclists were killed in crashes with cars in Philadelphia in 2022.
- Pedestrians: 57 pedestrians were killed in accidents with cars in Philadelphia in 2022.
Altogether, “outside the vehicle” victims accounted for 48 percent of all car accident fatalities.
The lockdown and reduced traffic of the COVID-19 pandemic provided no relief. In fact, things became deadlier. Data from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia reveals that there were 50 pedestrians killed in 2020 in Philadelphia. There were 6 bicyclists killed that year. There were 8 cyclists and 42 pedestrians killed in 2021. In the first quarter of 2023, Philadelphia has already seen 13 pedestrian fatalities and 4 cyclist deaths.
Working to Reduce Traffic Accidents in Philadelphia
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Philadelphia County has the most number of traffic deaths per capita in the United States. This meant that when crash data and population are compared, Philadelphia County roads are more dangerous than those in bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles.
That’s a problem. It’s a problem that Philadelphia lawmakers have vowed to fix.
In 2017, Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, announced the city’s new “Vision Zero” initiative. The goal is to eliminate fatal crashes by the year 2030 through a process that involves:
- Equity (identify equitable solutions)
- Evaluation (prioritize investments and ensure resources are used effectively)
- Engineering (redesign streets and adopt safe infrastructure measures)
- Education (promote a culture of safe driving, biking, and walking), and
- Enforcement (enforce laws to save lives)
Specifically, the city has pledged to:
- Save lives by reducing the number of severe traffic accidents in Philly
- Improve the overall performance of the street system
- Prioritize the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, who are most vulnerable, and
- Promote active transportation to reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce congestion, improve air quality, and improve health.
How does the city plan to do this? The city took a look at Philadelphia crash data and identified why, when, where, and how accidents were happening. As it turns out, half of all severe injuries and traffic deaths occur on “just 12 percent of Philadelphia streets.” These streets, known as the “High Injury Network” are the first to be targeted under the Vision Zero program.
Traffic accidents will still continue to be problematic, however, if drivers don’t take matters into their own hands. Safer roads, reduced speed limits, and new traffic laws will only go so far. Driving accidents will still happen. Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in Philadelphia will have to make a concerted effort to practice safe commuting habits. Only then will Philadelphia see a drop in car accidents on its city streets.
Call Our Philadelphia Car Accident Attorneys If You’ve Been Injured
Have you or someone you love been injured in a car accident in Philadelphia? If someone else is at least partly responsible, you may be entitled to compensation from them. Contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer at Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers to learn more about your legal rights and options. If you decide to file an injury claim or lawsuit, we’ll fight to get you the money you need and deserve.
You’ll only have a limited amount of time to act, so it’s important to reach out to our personal injury law firm for help as soon as you can. We offer a free consultation, so call to schedule yours today at (215) 875-7030.