Summer celebrations in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre lead to concern for pedestrian safety

As Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre and other towns across the country gear up for huge 4th of July celebrations and other summer festivities, such as the Philadelphia Party on the Parkway and 4th of July Jam, our minds turn to the safety of pedestrians attending these festivities.

The increased foot traffic, coupled with heavy traffic and drinking, not only endangers pedestrians who may be injured in car crashes and hit and run accidents but also bicyclists who are out this time of year and may also be injured.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts 2013, of the total number of traffic fatalities in Philadelphia in 2013, 40.4% were pedestrian fatalities.

Hit and run accidents continue to be a concern in Philadelphia. This month alone, a woman was critically injured after being struck by a car in a South Philadelphia hit and run and an actor lost his leg in a Center City Philadelphia hit and run accident. A bicyclist was also injured when he was struck in a hit and run in North Philadelphia. Wilkes-Barre has also seen its fair share of pedestrian fatalities. Earlier this month, a hit and run accident at Harvey’s Lake claimed the life of a young mother who was jogging at the time of the crash.

The NHTSA reported that there were 4,735 pedestrians killed in and an estimated 66,000 injured in traffic crashes in the United States in 2013. On average, one pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes. According to the NHTSA, there were 745 bicyclists killed and an estimated 48,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2013. 73% of the pedestrian accidents and 68% of the bicyclist accidents occurred in urban areas. More than two-thirds the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were males and an overwhelming 87% of the bicyclists killed were male. Alcohol also plays a factor in many of these crashes and alcohol is also present at many summer celebrations in Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre and across the country. Alcohol involvement for the driver or pedestrian was reported in 49% of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths and it was a factor in 34% of bicyclist fatalities.

The personal injury and accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli offer the following suggestions for pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Always walk on the sidewalk or walking path when one is available
  • Stay alert and avoid distractions, including talking on your cellphone or texting while walking
  • Be cautious at night, watch for traffic around you
  • Be extremely careful at intersections and near driveways
  • Follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signals
  • Cross only at intersections or cross walks
  • Be sure to stop and look in all directions before crossing
  • Wear brightly colored clothing during the day and reflective clothing if you need to walk at night
  • A flashlight is also helpful at night to make you more visible
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs when walking, they may cloud your judgment
  • Avoid walking along highways or other dangerous roadways

Bicyclist Safety Tips

  • Wear a helmet when biking
  • Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signals and lane markings
  • When cycling on the street, ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing
  • Try to avoid riding at night, or use a front light and a back reflector or taillight if you must ride at night
  • Watch out for road hazards, such as potholes, slick spots and debris
  • Use hand signals to alert motorists of what you intend to do
  • Keep alert and aware of the traffic around you
  • Do not weave in and out of traffic
  • Do not wear headphones while riding
  • Watch for turning traffic
  • Be very careful at intersections and driveways
  • Never cycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs

When driving a motor vehicle, always be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists. Safety should be your top priority, so stay alert and free of distractions. Follow all of the rules of the road including posted speed limits. Be especially careful when pulling in and out of driveways and other roadways. Be sure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli encourage everyone to stay alert and safe while walking, biking or driving this 4th of July holiday week and throughout the entire summer. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, a hit and run accident or bicycle car collision, call the accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli for a free consultation today. Contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer at 215-575-9237 or a Wilkes-Barre injury attorney at 570-714-HURT.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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