The Most Dangerous Intersections in Philadelphia and Beyond

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    Driving on a road, street, or boulevard presents additional challenges and dangers that are not typically found on highways and freeways. That is, these more locally-oriented roads are generally punctuated by numerous interspersed intersections and are often shared by motorists with pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, bicyclists are especially present in Philadelphia with Philly routinely ranking close to or within the top 10 in yearly surveys of bike-friendly cities. While the reduced reliance on cars, trucks, and SUVs is certainly good news, one must wonder if the increased non-motor vehicle traffic may be causing more catastrophic injuries and deaths at intersections due to reduced visibility of pedestrians and cyclists when compared to larger vehicles.

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    In any case, awareness of the particularly dangerous intersections in and around Philadelphia can encourage drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists to take special care. After all, education is often the first step in securing meaningful changes that improve the safety and quality of life for all Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians.

    Bucks County Pennsylvania: Home of America’s Most Dangerous Intersection

    To determine the most dangerous intersection in the United States, TIME magazine has analyzed traffic data from 2003 to 2012 that was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). TIME’s criteria included fatal accidents that had occurred within 150 feet of one another. When controlled for the existence of an intersection the study found that the most dangerous intersection in America is located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

    The intersection where Knight Road and Street Road intersection caused 7 fatal truck accidents over the 10-year study period. According to a traffic audit cited by the Time study, this intersection was particularly dangerous because “It’s plagued by poor signage, dim, lighting, discontinuous sidewalks, aggressive drivers and jaywalkers… In a one-mile stretch of Street Road that includes the intersection, there were 144 crashes in the two years leading up to the audit, and 170 people died or were injured.” Traffic engineer, Joseph Fiocco who participated in the TIME study placed a large portion of the blame on traffic volume and specifically named increased vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic as a factor contributing to the intersection’s high rate of accidents, injury, and death.

    While it is unlikely to bring comfort to commuters who battle this Buck’s County intersection daily, the TIME study identified the intersection of East Jersey Street and Spring Street located in Elizabeth, New Jersey as one of 11 intersections to tie for second-most dangerous in the nation.

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    The Infamous Roosevelt Boulevard

    Roosevelt Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in the area and, depending on your location, can be designated as US Route 1, US Route 13, or Pennsylvania Route 63. It has long held a reputation for being a particularly dangerous intersection for both pedestrians and motorists. As a 12-lane behemoth with only a small median for pedestrians to pause on, it is rare that several days pass by without some mention of an accident or an injured or killed a pedestrian on the Boulevard.

    Past posts on this blog have already discussed tragedies such as the death of 28-year-old mother Selena Banks and her three sons while crossing the Boulevard. However, the dangers are especially pronounced at certain intersections along the Boulevard. The danger is particularly heightened at these intersections:

    • Roosevelt Boulevard and Red Lion Road – This intersection is located in the northeast of Philadelphia and is often considered to be the most dangerous in the city. A 2001 State Farm study found the intersection to be the second most dangerous in the nation. The study found that there were 331 car, truck, or bus accidents at the intersection over the course of the study.
    • Roosevelt Boulevard and Grant Avenue – Roosevelt and Grant Ave. was ranked as the nation’s third-most dangerous intersection by the same State Farm Study. While red-light cameras have been installed at both intersections, it is unclear if they have had a positive impact. Many officials believe that the cameras can cause drivers to act erratically thereby increasing the likelihood of catastrophic injury or death.

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    According to statistics released by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, from roughly 2008 to 2013, there were approximately 3,000 collisions or accidents on the Boulevard. Unfortunately, those crashes also produced 40 fatalities over the same time period. In short, drivers and pedestrians alike should exercise extreme caution when traveling along or crossing one of Roosevelt’s many intersections.

    Work With an Experienced Accident Attorney

    If you have been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, motorcyclist, driver, or passenger you shouldn’t have to face the responsible party or the insurance company alone. For more than 34 years the experienced Philadelphia accident attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm have fought for people injured due to the carelessness or negligence of others. To schedule your free and confidential accident consultation, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online.


    TIME – Where’s the Most Dangerous Intersection in America?

    State Farm’s Most Dangerous Intersections Study

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