Out of all of the cities in the United States, Philadelphia has one of the lowest rates of car ownership. With 0.968 vehicles per household in 2013, Philadelphia ranked as the 14th most car-free city, out of 794 cities in the country, according to Census Bureau data and analysis by Governing.
This does not mean that Philadelphia streets are empty, or that it is any safer to drive in our city than in others, though. Because driving is still risky and can result in a car accident that leaves you or someone you love with a serious injury, the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian fight for your rights and interests both in and out of court.
Philadelphia Car Accident Statistics
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 10,627 car accidents in Philadelphia County in 2014 alone. Out of these, 7,788 resulted in someone getting hurt. 89 of these accidents resulted in at least one fatality, with 97 fatalities in total. 38 of those who were killed in car accidents were pedestrians, showing how dangerous it can be to walk in the streets of the city. Out of the total number of fatalities in Philadelphia County in 2014, 18 came from crashes that involved alcohol.
City Data compares these numbers to the fatal accident statistics in the rest of Pennsylvania, to find Philadelphia's totals lower than the state average. In 2014, there were 6.2 car crash fatalities per 100,000 people in Philadelphia. This was lower than the state average of 8.4 per 100,000 people. This lower rate does not necessarily mean that driving in Philadelphia is safer than driving elsewhere in the state, though. Instead, the lower numbers likely come from the fact that more miles are traveled at lower speeds through the city of Philadelphia than elsewhere in the state. Any accidents that happen at these lower speeds are far less likely to result in a fatality, keeping these ratios low.
Car Insurance in Philadelphia
In fact, the low number of cars in Philadelphia is a sign that getting into a car accident in the city can be more costly and dangerous than elsewhere.
The chief reason why there are so few cars in Philadelphia is the fact that there are so many people living in deep poverty within the city's limits. “Deep poverty” is defined as half of the federal poverty level, meaning a family of three would be in deep poverty if it had a total income of $10,000 or less. 12.2% of Philadelphians live in deep poverty – nearly 185,000 people. This gives Philadelphia the highest rate of deep poverty among the country's 10 most populous cities. The percentage is near twice the national average of 6.3%. With so many people in such deep poverty, the number of cars owned within the city's limits is kept down.
However, those who are at or near the poverty level and do have vehicles are likely to be uninsured. This is especially likely considering how expensive it is to have insurance in Philadelphia – nearly triple what it costs in other areas of Pennsylvania.
When you get into a car accident with someone who does not have car insurance, the complexity of the crash shoots upwards. If they were the one who caused the accident and are found liable for your property damage and injuries, you might be the one out of luck – without insurance and typically without the means to cover your expenses out-of-pocket, there might not be enough money to go around. Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy, it might not be enough to cover you for all of your medical bills and other expenses.
Philadelphia Car Accident Attorneys
Getting into a car accident anywhere can be a life-changing event, especially if it totals your car or results in serious injuries that take months of recovery. However, getting into a crash in Philadelphia can be even more problematic.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian legally represent those who have been the victims of car accidents throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding area. By fighting for your rights and interests both in and out of court, the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can ensure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve from those responsible for your injuries.
Contact our law office online or call us at (800) 529-6162.