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Despite Vision Zero, NYC Road Fatalities Increased in 2019

December 15, 2019 | Michael Barasch

Despite Vision Zero, NYC Road Fatalities Increased in 2019

Over the past year, a rise in New York City traffic deaths has raised questions about the effectiveness of the Vision Zero effort that is meant to eliminate these types of fatalities by 2024. Obtaining detailed, accurate information on road dangers is critical to assessing and improving the results of this campaign.

According to NYPD TrafficStat data, through the first 11 months of 2019, New York City road fatalities increased more than 9 percent. On the other hand, total collisions and pedestrian injuries have dropped. Similar numbers have been recorded by the city’s Department of Transportation, though the figures vary for several reasons, such as:

  • Subsequent investigations related to road fatalities — At the scene, police officers and other first responders might not be able to discern the exact cause of a fatal accident. During an autopsy, the medical examiner might find that a driver found dead at the wheel after a crash actually suffered a lethal heart attack or stroke beforehand. DOT statistics are revised to account for such findings but police records are not.
  • Accident-caused deaths that occur weeks or months later — Police activity related to a vehicle collision usually involves immediate response and investigation. However, the physical effects of a serious crash might not be apparent for weeks or even months after the incident. As the agency responsible for New York City’s transportation infrastructure, the DOT keeps track of whether someone eventually dies from injuries suffered in an auto accident, but NYPD numbers typically don’t account for these fatalities.
  • People who die from accidents on non-public roadways — Police officers serve as first responders regardless of whether a harmful auto accident occurs on public or private property. Accordingly, police crash statistics cover incidents taking place on driveways and other non-public roadways. DOT figures, on the other hand, cover accidents only on the streets and highways that everyone shares.

Regardless of how the numbers are counted, dangerous crashes continue to plague the city, despite the efforts of city officials to reduce them. After a vehicle accident that causes a death or serious injury, strong car accident counsel is necessary to obtain compensation that fully covers medical costs, replaces lost income and addresses other damages related to the accident.

Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson advocates on behalf of New Yorkers in personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of all types of traffic accidents. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, please call [ln::phone] or contact us online.

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