PA Has 4 of the Worst Truck Bottlenecks in the U.S.
The last few months haven’t been filled with good news about Pennsylvania’s roadways. In 2021, the Global Traffic Scorecard by INRIX pinpointed Philadelphia as having the third-worst commuter congestion in the nation (behind only New York and Chicago). Then in November 2021, the Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report ranked the state’s highway system 39th in the country for overall cost-effectiveness and condition.
On the heels of that news, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its annual list of Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks in February.
Jam-packed roadways are often the scene of fender-benders and serious, even deadly, accidents. Truck collisions can be particularly devastating due to their size and weight. A passenger vehicle is usually no match for a tractor-trailer.
Philly Is Home to Biggest Bottlenecks
The list identified four Pennsylvania corridors, all in Philadelphia, as among the most congested for truck traffic in the country:
- I-76 at I-676 (ranked 26th worst)
- I-476 at I-95 (ranked 43rd worst)
- I-76 at US 1 (46th worst)
- I-76 at I-476 (66th worst)
According to ATRI, the motivation behind the bottleneck list is to improve public awareness of road conditions and offer transportation planners more data. Bottlenecks are determined by analyzing “a massive database of truck GPS data at freight-significant locations throughout the U.S. and an algorithm that quantifies the impact of congestion on truck-based freight.”
High Volume and Reduced Speed
As anyone familiar with American driving patterns, rush hours tend to be the most congested. Even the smallest distraction could result in a nasty, multi-vehicle accident. The average speed at our worst bottleneck (I-76 and I-676) plummets to close to 15 mph between 4 and 5 p.m. The speed compares to close to 40 mph in the 8 p.m. hour.
Fatalities in Truck Accidents
The fatality rate of any accident tends to increase when a large truck is involved. Large trucks (defined as having a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds) were involved in 10% of all fatal collisions in the U.S. yet are only 4% of all registered vehicles. Large trucks account for 7% of total vehicle miles traveled.
In 2020, large trucks and buses were involved in 6,539 crashes in Pennsylvania. Those collisions caused 141 fatalities and 2,853 deaths.
According to the National Safety Council, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes has increased 43% since 2010. Almost three-fourths of deaths are occupants of other vehicles, not the big rigs. Nearly half of all truck occupant deaths occurred in accidents in which their vehicles rolled over.
Hurt in a Truck Accident? Understand Your Rights
All states limit how long after an accident you may still file a civil lawsuit. The restriction is called the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim in civil court. That deadline is only extended under specific circumstances.
The statutory limitation is only one reason to not procrastinate. Evidence and memories fade over time, which can hurt your case. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at Scaringi Law as soon as possible to discuss your case.
The courts consider whether you share any of the blame for the accidents. Under the modified comparative negligence rule, you will be denied any compensation if you are determined to be 50% or more to blame. If you are less than half at fault, you may still be awarded damages, but the amount will be reduced by your percentage of liability. If the court determines you are 10% at fault, for example, your award will be reduced by 10%. Skilled representation is important to effectively argue your lack of responsibility.
Since Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for vehicle accidents, many injuries will have to be covered by their own insurance. If your accident involves a “serious” injury, you may be able to file a liability claim instead. Injuries incurred in a truck accident are often serious.
If you’re injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might have grounds to sue for damages. Contact us for a free initial consultation. Schedule by calling (717) 775-7195.