Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is an ambitious campaign to eliminate all traffic deaths in New York City, especially among vulnerable pedestrians. Unfortunately, on average, about 200 people a year are killed on NYC streets, and over 3,000 are seriously injured.
Since implementing the program in 2014, New York has seen a decrease in the number of traffic accidents—until recently. The city has taken steps to re-engineer streets to make them more pedestrian- and bike-friendly as well as amenable for motorists, at the expense of street area for cars and trucks. Part of the Vision Zero improvements includes improved safety education and state-of-the-art training for drivers of MTA buses, City Fleet vehicles, and for-hire vehicles.
Even with Vision Zero, pedestrian-vehicle crashes in NYC are still a concern. So why are these accidents between pedestrians and vehicles still a big concern in The Big Apple? There are several reasons.
So Many People Walking
Because NYC has such a large population in such a small space, most people walk or take public transit, such as the subway. There are more than eight million people in the five boroughs. Despite the number of pedestrians, vehicular traffic is still increasing.
In the mix are pedestrians who are not as fast, such as elderly and disabled people. Changes in the traffic lighting system may be confusing to those who are accustomed to the previous system.
With so many pedestrians, drivers aren’t the ones who are hurt. But now that e-scooters and electric bikes with top speeds of 25 mph are legal in New York City, pedestrians face even more dangers of injury than before. Add in ride-sharing by Uber and Lyft that brings even more vehicles into the NYC area, and pedestrian-car crash numbers are bound to increase.
More Traffic Accidents in 2021
Just this year, there has been a 58% increase in pedestrian fatalities in New York City. There have been 41 deaths this year, compared to 26 deaths from the same period last year.
Not long after the news that these crashes had hit an all-time low since the Mayor’s tenure began, the number increased significantly during the last part of 2020. Additionally, car accidents increased during the pandemic, which officials attribute to less vehicular traffic and drivers speeding up.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
It’s the same in nearly every city in America, but more so in NYC—driver negligence. With everyone just trying to get somewhere, pedestrians are the city’s most vulnerable population, caused by:
- Distracted drivers or pedestrians
- Intoxicated drivers or pedestrians
- Failing to yield or stop
- Drivers backing up
- Weather conditions
Pedestrians are also frequently injured at intersections, especially when a driver is turning left. Hit-and-run accidents are also ongoing.
Despite the improvements to NYC streets to make them safer for everyone, pedestrians are still being injured.
East Village’s Pedestrian Accident Law Firm
Vision Zero’s goal of no traffic accidents is still in the future, and pedestrians are still being hurt in accidents with cars. If you’ve been injured in a New York City accident, whether you are a pedestrian, bicyclist or driver, we can help you get compensation for your injuries.
For over 25 years, Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping New Yorkers who have been hurt in an accident. Call us at (212) 777-9400 or contact us online, and we’ll talk to you about your case. Your first consultation is free. Our contingency fee basis means we don’t get paid unless we settle your case or win the trial.