The Bike Sharing Movement That’s About to Hit Philly

The city of Philadelphia has recently opened the door to a new wave of transportation – dockless bike sharing. Soon, bike sharing companies will be popping up in Center City and eventually will take over their new home, our sidewalks. Bike Sharing companies, such as LimeBike and Spin, offer tourists and local residents the opportunity to freely hop on and off bicycles. New trends such as dock-less bikes allow for a fresh burst or urban mobility and transportation, similar to what Uber and Lyft did a few years ago. Dockless bikes have taken off in buzzing metropolises such as Washington, D.C, Seattle, and Dallas. It’s fair to say, it’s only a matter of time before these bikes hit the streets of Philly.

These app-driven transit options are a convenient way to hop around the city because they allow users to hop on and off anywhere including residential areas and busy pedestrian pathways in the center of the city. Investors around the country are pouring money into scooter and bike startups. Limebike has emerged as one of the top bicycle sharing companies at the moment, the bikes unique green color and cheap prices are what make it such a standout. Service typically starts at one-dollar for a 30-minute ride. It was founded in January 2017 and raised 12 million dollars in funding. Each bicycle is equipped with GPS units and 3G connectivity.

Global Takeover

Lime Bike Expansion Across the USA

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Limebikes first location launched at The University of North Carolina in June 2017 and has since broadened to cities across the US. The expansion is so rapid they can’t seem to keep up with demand – on their website you can “vote” to bring Limebike to your city or college campus.

Bike-Sharing Backlash

These distributions of bikes around many cities seem to have happened overnight across the nation. This has caused a lot of backfire from locals due to their scattershot manners and random placements. Unlike other bike rentals such as Indego, a Philly based bike sharing company that has fixed docking locations, new bike share companies have created what some may argue as chaotic addition to Urban landscapes that interferes with public space.  According to the Philadelphia bicycle injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss, bike accidents occur in areas of high traffic and according to Pennsylvania law, bicyclists over the age of 12 are not required to wear helmets. This can be a recipe for disaster because an increase in bicycles in the city maximizes the chances for bicycle-related accidents.

The biggest concern around cities right now is where the dockless bikes will be stored and how they will be collected around certain areas in the city. Many believe that the tiny streets in the dense parts of Philly can cause this to be a problem. It seems like the only ideal place with ample room to park a bike would be near intersections or by stop-signs — a place where most bicycle accidents generally occur. The real danger is the fact that once the bike is abandoned on the street, the person who docked it there is no longer responsible for its whereabouts. As a result, they have no incentive to ensure it won’t fall over or get in the way of pedestrians or even other bikers.

Do You Think Dockless Bike Sharing Will Benefit Philadelphia?

Crashes Involving Hand-held Phones On The Rise In Pennsylvania

Research from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shows that the number of fatalities involving Pennsylvania drivers using hands-free or hand-held phones has climbed in recent years. This data shows that drivers who used hand held devices are in more accidents than those who use hands free. This is because hands free devices give the driver more control over the wheel and place more emphasis on focusing on the road.

This numbers also places emphasis on current Pennsylvania phone laws that do not prohibit the use of handheld cell phone use behind the wheel.
Hand held crashes are much more common all over the country and place drivers is a more vulnerable, distracted state. According to the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss and data reported by PennDot, every day at least three people die from car accidents in Pennsylvania and there are approximately 15 crashes reported per hour. They explain negligence, such as driving while talking on the phone or texting is directly related to the high number of traffic accidents each year in both Pennsylvania urban and rural areas.

Counties in Pennsylvania with the most amount of hand-held crashes and fatalities include:

Pennsylvania Counties With Hand-Held Crash Stats 2016

A Closer Look at the Data

  • Allegheny had one hand-held related fatal accidents and 632 crashes
  • Montgomery had two hand-held related fatalities and 396 total crashes
  • Philadelphia had only one hand-held related fatality and 336 total crashes

Luckily, these types of crashes are generally “fender-bender” crashes that involve very minor injuries. Although the fatality rate for hand held crashes are low, it still doesn’t mean they’re safe. Hand-held or hands-free car accidents can be extremely dangerous, costly, and can cause major traffic delays. A closer look at the data shows an increase in  hand-held phones and hands-free phone accidents every year:

Hands free phones statistics 2016

Hand Held Phone Statistics Pennsylvania 2016

Pennsylvania Cell Phone Laws

Conventional wisdom and the Pennsylvania texting-while-driving  ban prohibits any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write a text message while your vehicle is in motion:

  • Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smartphone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.
  • Defines a text-based communication as a text message, instant message, email or other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.
  • Institutes a $50 fine for convictions under this section.
  • Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

The state of Pennsylvania currently does not prohibit the use of hand-held phones but does prohibit IWCD’s (Interactive Wireless Communication Device). An IWCD prohibits reading, sending or surfing the web on your phone and includes wireless phones, portable or mobile tablets and computers. Having a ban on hand-held phones can positively impact collision rates according to a study conducted in 2012 by the University of California, Berkeley. The study analyzed driving accidents in California during the first four years California’s hand-held ban was in place.

Their study found:

  • Traffic deaths dropped 22%
  • Death among hands-free drivers dropped at a similar rate
  • Deaths blamed on drivers using handheld phones went down and by 47%
  • The number of physical injuries in the state declined overall and the ban ultimately resulted in less distracted drivers on the road.

Although hand held phone laws are not currently implemented in Pennsylvania, a closer examination of the facts can demonstrate that any phone activity behind the wheel is dangerous and can result in a yearly increase in accidents and fatalities.

Pennsylvania Winter Driving Safety

From 2011 to 2015, Pennsylvania was considered one of the top five deadliest states for winter car accidents. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pennsylvania had an average of about 83 fatal car accidents during the winter months, topping the list at number three.

Causes of Winter Accidents

Unfortunately, 25% of these fatal Pennsylvania car accidents involve out-of-state drivers. The reason behind this? Weather conditions that out-of-staters have never seen before. And although fatal winter accidents can be caused by a number of factors, the main culprit is the weather. In fact, 1 out of 5 car accidents occur during inclement weather. The following are the leading causes of winter accidents on the road.

Poor Visibility

During the winter months blizzards, hail, heavy snow, rain and fog can reduce visibility on the roads and increase the risk of an accident. In addition, snow pile up on the road can make it harder for drivers to see traffic signs, pedestrians, vehicles and other objects along the road.

Slippery Roads

Sometimes the causes of car accidents on the road are also caused by things we can’t see. When it rains or temperature drops down, roads can be come slippery with black ice. Black ice on the road forms from light freezing rain or snow that has melted and re-freezed.

Car Condition

Steering through harsh weather is already tough enough, but having a vehicle that’s not equipped to do so is detrimental. If you car has worn out or bald tires, your risk of getting in an accident from the road conditions are increased since your tires have poor traction. Broken headlights or taillights, defroster fans, and windshield wipers can all effect how you navigate through winter weather.

Excess Snow

That’s right, snow itself can cause major winter accidents. Snow or ice left on vehicles can fly off and cause serious injuries or damage to yourself or others on the road. In fact, you can be fined you up yo $1,000 in Pennsylvania if ice and snow projecting off of your car injures someone or causes damage.

How to Avoid Winter Accidents

So what can you do to protect yourself and other drivers on the road while traveling during wintertime? Now that you know the causes, here are some winter safety tips to follow to prepare for and avoid deadly winter accidents:

  • Get your car serviced regularly
  • Clear the snow of off your car before heading out on the road
  • Always carry a winter emergency kit in your car (i.e. shovel, ice scraper, gloves, extra blankets)
  • Never head out on a big trip without a full tank of gas
  • Don’t break, speed up or swerve to avoid black ice – instead, keep calm and keep your steering wheel straight
  • Use your fog lights for low visibility conditions
  • Be alert and cautious at all times

Preparing your self and your vehicle for winter is going to decrease your risk of accidents and keep you safe in any weather!

Highest Ranking Holiday For Crashes In Pennsylvania

With the holiday season approaching, the number of cars on the road increase due to people traveling to and from home to celebrate. Which means a higher chance of car crashes and fatalities. But which holiday is most likely to cause an accident on the road?

For folks in Pennsylvania, it’s Thanksgiving. Which makes sense, since over 50 million people in the U.S. will travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving this year. Making this year’s Thanksgiving travel volume the highest it’s ever been since 2005, as reported by AAA.

According to PennDOT, there were a total of 18,449 crashes and 213 fatalities just over the holidays in 2016. Of those, 4,500 crashes and 54 fatalities occurred surrounding Thanksgiving alone.  So how does that stack up to other holidays? Below are graphs courtesy of PennDOT that represent the ranking in descending order, of total crashes and fatalities,  for each holiday period.

pennsylvania holiday crash statistics

Unfortunately, the majority of these holiday-related crashes involve alcohol. In fact, alcohol-related car and pedestrian accident fatalities accounted for 32% of all Pennsylvania fatalities that occurred during holiday weekends in 2016.

So if you’re planning to travel this holiday reason, remember to drink responsibility and keep an eye out for drunk drivers on the road. You can help avoid drunk driving accidents and other serious Pennsylvania car accidents this holiday season by following these steps:

  • Always have a designated driver if you plan to drink alcohol
  • Watch out for motorcyclists and other vehicles sharing the road with you
  • Don’t text and drive or engage in any other distracted driving activities
  • Be alert and obey all traffic laws
  • Make sure you and all of your passengers are buckles up at all times
  • Give yourself enough time so that you are not driving in a hurry

The holidays are for celebrating, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying delicous foods – they’re not for car accidents. So take the right steps to prevent car accidents and keep you and your family safe this holiday season!

Deer Crashes On The Rise In Pennsylvania

Deer mating season is here, so your chances of being involved in a deer-related crash is at it’s highest. Fall and early Winter is considered to be peak mating season for deer, so be extra cautious of your surroundings while driving between October and December.

Deer Crash Statistics

According to State Farm’s annual deer claim study, Pennsylvania ranked #3 in the country for deer-related car accidents. That means that every time you get behind the wheel in Pennsylvania, there is a 1 in 67 chance of hitting a deer.


The top 10 states at risk for hitting a deer include:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Montana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Iowa
  5. Wisconsin
  6. South Dakota
  7. Minnesota
  8. Wyoming
  9. Michigan
  10. North Dakota

The highest state at risk is West Virginia, with 1 in 43 chances and Hawaii -not surprisingly – being the lowest risk state with 1 in 6,823 chances of hitting a deer while driving.

Under Pennsylvania state law, car accidents involving deer are considered not-at-fault accidents, and insurance companies are not legally allowed to increase policyholders’ premiums. But US drivers still spent an average of $4,179 on insurance claims for deer-related accidents across the country in between July 2016 to June 2017.

How To Avoid Deer-Related Collisions

According to statistics, deer collisions are more likely to occur around dawn and dusk. Daylight savings time ends in November, which will put more drivers on the road during peek deer activity hours. Drivers should be careful to remain alert and focused on the road especially during the early morning and late evening hours. Some other tips for preventing deer-related crashes altogether include:

  • Slow down and pay attention to all road signs (i.e. speed limit, deer crossing)
  • Wear a seat belt at all times
  • Avoid distracting activities while driving like texting or eating
  • If you see a deer on the side of the road, proceed with caution and be on the lookout for other deer crossing the road
  • Break to avoid hitting deer, but do not swerve

What To Do If You Do Hit A Deer

If you are involved in a deer collision, pull over safely and turn your hazard lights on. Document the incident so that you have all the necessary information if the collision results in injury or property damage.

If you hit a deer and it survives, stay away from the animal be cautious for any sudden movements as deer are unpredictable. However if the deer dies after a collision, The Pennsylvania Game Commission encourages drivers to report the incident as soon as possible to local authorities. You can also call the PA Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD to remove the deer from the road and prevent other motorists from any further danger.

You may not think that it could possibly happen to you, but taking the necessary precautions to avoid a deer-related accident is your best bet to stay safe.


Pennsylvania Driver Involvement in Crashes by Age and Sex 2015

The Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Pennsylvania

Each year in the United States, the economic impacts of motor vehicle (MV) crashes total billions of dollars. More than property damage, these costs include medical and other related costs, lost productivity in the workplace, legal costs, and more.

Statistics reveal that in the state of Pennsylvania alone, the economic loss due to motor vehicle crashes was $14,121,634,477. That year, there were 127,127 traffic crashes reported that resulted in the loss of 1,200 lives, and 80,004 more being injured.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, 2015), alcohol involved crashes account for nearly a quarter of all crash costs in the U.S. In Pennsylvania, Alcohol involved crashes accounted for approximately 8% of all crashes. These crashes were 4.5 times more likely to result in a fatality than those not involving alcohol. In all, 29% of those killed in crashes were a result of alcohol involvement.


Injury severity also increases with alcohol involvement. Drinkers not only experience distorted perception and judgment; slower reaction times also result. This is especially of concern, as drinking drivers tend to speed, and neglect other safety considerations, including seat belt and helmet use.

A study by Zhao, Zhang, and Rong (2014) found that drinking drivers were affected in these ways and others, including attitude, vigilance, and reaction to the environment. Additionally, speed was significantly higher in drinking drivers group as they were more impulsive and sensation seeking.

Prevention Reduces the Cost of Car Crashes

The best way to reduce the cost of MV crashes in the state is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Additionally, lessening the likelihood of severe injury or death if and when a crash does happen is also important. For example, consistently using safety belts and car seats is one way of doing this (CDC, 2013).

Strategies for preventing crashes include:

  • Graduated driver licensing
  • Ignition interlocks for those convicted of driving while intoxicated
  • Sobriety checkpoints