Our cars have become more technologically advanced than ever, with features like back-up cameras, lane departure warning systems, and autonomous cruise control often coming standard on many new vehicles. Yet despite these advances, drivers throughout Pennsylvania continue to be injured and even killed in motor vehicle accidents. On an average day in Pennsylvania, there are 352 reportable traffic crashes — or about 15 accidents per hour.
In 2018 alone, there were a total of 128,420 reportable traffic accidents in Pennsylvania. In those crashes, 78,219 people were injured — and 1,190 people were killed. The counties in and around Philadelphia — including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Bucks Counties — routinely have the highest percentage of reported traffic accidents in the state. In fact, Philadelphia County had the biggest share (8.7%) of traffic-related fatalities in 2018, compared to all other counties in the state.
These statistics demonstrate that driving in and around the Philadelphia metro area can be dangerous. So how can you protect yourself from getting into a wreck when so many accidents happen in our region?
As Jenkintown car accident attorneys, we are all too familiar with the devastation that can be caused by a single moment of carelessness or bad driving. To address this issue, we developed a tool that will help you figure out just how safe your daily commute truly is. With this online calculator, you can determine how safe your typical driving routes really are — and then make a decision about the best way to get to where you need to go.
What Is the Route Risk Calculator?
The Route Risk Calculator is an online calculator that we developed for the greater Philadelphia area. We used publicly-available data from car accidents and other traffic-related incidents to figure out which streets and highways in our region are the most dangerous.
Our Route Risk Calculator is set up in a relatively simple way. We put a grid on the roads in and around the Philadelphia area — from Chester to Scranton and beyond. Each square of this grid has been assigned a score that is based on factors such as the number of car accidents that have happened there within the past year.
When you put in a starting point and a final destination, the calculator will analyze the score of each square of the grid along your possible routes. These scores are then combined and averaged to come up with a final score for the route. The scale runs from A to F, where (like school), A is the best possible grade (safest) and F is the lowest grade (least safe).
In many situations, there will be more than one way to get to where you need to go. The calculator will list two route options, and give you a score for each. Using this information, you can decide to travel a different way based on the relative safety score for each route.
How to Use the Route Risk Calculator
The Route Risk Calculator was designed to be easy to use. As a driver, you just have to enter your starting and ending location. The tool will then display route options, along with a score for each.
Based on these scores, you can make a decision about which way to go. In some situations, there may just be one route. If a proposed route has a fairly low score, you may decide that you still want to drive it for any number of reasons, such as convenience or lack of tolls; the calculator will empower you to be more cautious when driving it.
For example, if you are traveling from the Philadelphia Zoo to Independence Hall, there are two route options. The first takes you along the Schuylkill Expressway to Vine Street — and has a grade of D. The second also takes the Schuylkill Expressway, but then goes to the Benjamin Franklin Expressway. That route has a grade of C.
Given these two options, you may decide to go the second route, since it has a slightly higher score. Keep in mind these route scores do not guarantee the safety of any route, or that you won’t be in a collision. However, they can be helpful as you plan out routes in and around Philadelphia.
Will Using the Calculator Reduce the Rate of Traffic Accidents in the Philadelphia and Beyond?
Our Route Risk Calculator is based on an algorithm that uses past traffic data. It is a useful tool for figuring out the best route to take, based on the number of accidents and other incidents over the past year. At the same time, this tool does not (and cannot) predict the future. For this reason, you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for your own judgment as a driver.
The area in and around Philadelphia has an alarmingly high number of traffic accidents each year. Doing something as simple as avoiding intersections where there are a lot of crashes may help to reduce the number of collisions in our region. By taking control of your safety, you may play a part in decreasing the incidence of collisions.
For example, in Allentown, the area around the PPL Center is graded as a “D.” There are many reasons why this section of Old Allentown may be more dangerous than nearby regions (such as the neighborhood around America On Wheels Museum in Allentown). Knowing that this is a more risky section of the city when it comes to crashes may motivate you to avoid it, or to drive more carefully when you are nearby.
Our goal in building this tool is for drivers throughout our region to make smarter, more informed decisions about where they drive. Even if you are taking a road that is known to be dangerous (like most parts of the Schuylkill Expressway), you can be more aware of the risks and practice defensive driving skills. In this way, you may be able to reduce the risk of being in a crash.
Injured in a Philadelphia Car Accident? We’re Here for You.
Throughout the Philadelphia metro region, motor vehicle collisions result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. By using our Route Risk Calculator, you may be able to change these grim statistics. While we cannot guarantee that you won’t be in an accident if you use this tool, it may help to lower the risk of your drive.
Solnick & Associates represents victims of all types of accidents, including car crashes. Based in Jenkintown, we advocate for individuals throughout the area, fighting to get them the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, contact our office today at 215-481-9979, or reach out online.