Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers: Streetcar Tracks Hazardous to Bicyclists

October 3, 2016

Cities across the country are facing a growing problem: how to safely accommodate streetcars and cyclists on busy streets? Streetcar tracks pose as dangers to cyclists and other pedestrians, as they catch shoes and tires in their grooves and become especially slippery when wet.

Commuters that opt to travel by bicycle are suffering from potentially fatal injuries when their bikes slide or become caught in streetcar tracks. Even experienced bicyclists are no match for wet streetcar tracks, suffering from broken bones to brain injuries in serious bicycle accidents. A Canadian research study found that a third of bicycle accidents reported during the period studied involved streetcar tracks. Most were caused by bike tires becoming caught in the flangeway, which is the gap between the tracks and the roadway.

Septa is Working to Reduce Bicycle Accidents in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, after a member of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia broke her jaw in a streetcar track accident, the city was compelled to act. The accident, which occurred on one of many unused tracks, highlighted the problem of tracks that are in disrepair or out of commission. SEPTA responded by paving over trolley tracks at more than 13 intersections and removing tracks completely at several others.

Most bike safety experts recommend a three-part approach to reducing pedestrian accidents caused by streetcars. Designated bike lanes create a safe space for cyclists to move through the city while avoiding streetcar tracks as much as possible. Designing bikes with tires wider than most streetcar tracks prevents the possibility of tires getting caught. Lastly, educating cyclists about the dangers of streetcar tracks, and teaching them how to best negotiate them when they cannot be avoided, is one proactive way to reduce crashes and injuries.

Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Pedestrians and Cyclists

 Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents can cause injuries that may require surgery, physical therapy, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Philadelphia and are facing mounting medical bills, our team at DiTomaso law may be able to help you recover monetary compensation. With offices in Cherry Hill and Philadelphia, our Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyers are able to serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call our office today at 215-426-4493 or contact us online to discuss your case.