The Ultimate Neighborhood Driving Guide
8 Ways to Drive Safely in a Residential Area
Warmer temperatures mean that people all over PA are now spending more time outside. Kids and adults alike can't wait to get some fresh air, but what does this mean for drivers?
Residential roads have a high potential for collisions, which is why specific traffic laws exist in areas where citizens live and play. These areas tend to have more signage and low speed limits—as well as the strictest penalties for drivers who drive recklessly.
Use these 8 Ways to Drive Safely in a Residential Area, whether you're driving home or visiting another neighborhood.
Keep your eyes peeled for the three P's:
Pedestrians—From morning joggers to families enjoying an evening stroll, streets in residential areas have no shortage of pedestrians.
Playing Children—In the summer months, kids love to play outside. Watch for children who may unexpectedly dart into the street.
Pets—Although there are leash laws in PA, some dogs and cats take any opportunity they can to run into the yard or street.
Remember who has the right of way
Many residential streets do not have crosswalks, so you need to look out for pedestrians crossing the street. Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way.
Pay close attention to specific residential signage
Traffic signs in residential areas can include "Watch Children," "Hidden Driveway," "School Bus Stop Ahead," etc. These signs are erected and maintained by local municipalities and approved by PennDOT officials. Always reduce your speed in these areas.
The maximum speed limit is 35 miles per hour
Unless otherwise posted, the maximum speed limit for residential areas in Pennsylvania is typically 35 miles per hour. Residential roads have the most potential for speed-related car accidents, so these areas tend to have the lowest speed limits with the most strict enforcement policies.
Don't forget to be on the lookout for schools, hospitals, parks, and construction zones in these areas as well. These zones usually have even lower speed limits, with very strict penalties for speeding.
Be aware of poorly-lit roadways
Unlike a highway, residential streets do not always have an abundance of bright streetlights to illuminate any potential road hazards. In the dark or during twilight hours, it can be extremely hard to see bicyclists and pedestrians. Watch for reflectors, which bicyclists and pedestrians should use, but be cautious in case they don't.
Never roll through a stop sign
Many motorists have the bad habit of casually rolling through stop signs on residential roadways. Coming to a "rolling stop" as opposed to a complete, braking stop will earn you a traffic citation. Local law enforcement is aware of this issue and specifically monitors stop signs in residential areas.
This issue was such a problem in Washington DC that plans have been made to install camera-equipped stop signs to photograph the license plates of drivers who fail to come to a complete stop.
Hurt by a Careless Driver?
Some drivers ignore speed limits or roll through stop signs regularly. This creates a hazardous environment for everyone. If you or someone you care about was hit by a careless driver who didn't heed traffic laws, you may have serious injuries to deal with. You might have piles of bills and wonder how you're going to make ends meet.
When you have questions, contact Edgar Snyder & Associates for answers. Call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage for a no obligation, free legal consultation.