New York City Traffic Deaths Hit New Low in 2018
Aggressive initiatives have helped New York City reduce traffic deaths to their lowest level in more than a century. In 2013, the de Blasio administration established the Vision Zero Initiative, which lowered speed limits and instituted other safety measures designed to reduce vehicle fatalities throughout the five boroughs.
In the year before the Vision Zero program was implemented, there were 299 traffic deaths in the city. Five years later, accident fatalities dropped to 200. That exceptional statistic brings attention to key elements of the plan, which is designed to eliminate all vehicle-related deaths on city streets and highways by 2024. They include:
- Enforcement of lowered speed limits — Setting a reduced, photo-enforced standard speed limit of 25 mph on city streets increases ability of motorists to avoid accidents and decreases the accidents’ severity. A pedestrian is half as likely to die after being struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph versus one moving at 30 mph.
- Stepped up citations for seatbelt violations — Nationwide, seatbelt use is up to 88 percent, more than four times the rate in 1985. New York’s commitment to citing seatbelt violations gives drivers and passengers a much better chance to survive a collision.
- Aggressive penalties for failure to yield to pedestrians — Technological advances and tougher laws serve an important function, but some dangerous driving habits are difficult to break. To help reduce pedestrian accidents, a driver is ticketed and assessed three license points when he or she fails to yield to someone lawfully in a crosswalk or intersection.
However, dangers still persist. Despite the sharp overall decline in vehicle-related deaths, pedestrian deaths actually showed an increase, from 107 in 2017 to 114 in 2018.
Though there has been a massive reduction in the city’s traffic deaths since the all-time high of 701 in 1990, harmful accidents can never be completely eliminated. When a serious crash occurs, victims and their families are best served by hiring a lawyer with a strong track record litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases.
The attorneys of Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson represent New Yorkers who have been hurt in vehicle accidents, including pedestrians and mass transit passengers. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, call us at 888.746.8212 or contact us online.