Traffic accidents are an epidemic in New York City, where cars, cyclists and pedestrians coexist on busy streets. Despite protections, pedestrians are killed routinely because of weather conditions, cell phone use and negligent drivers.
In fact, 11 New Yorkers were killed in traffic accidents during just the first two weeks of 2014. Seven of them were pedestrians.
Residents interviewed by CBS Local News disagree about what causes the crashes on one dangerous stretch of road, with one resident blaming the number of cars, another blaming inattentive pedestrians, and a third blaming the lights and road design. No matter what the cause, there are extensive reports of fatal injuries in the local news, including five over the weekend of January 18, 2014:
- A woman, 68, was fatally struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in Queens.
- A man, 69, was fatally struck by a SUV in Queens.
- A woman, 63, lost her leg to a cement truck on the Upper East Side.
- A man, 45, was fatally hit by an MTA bus while riding his bike in Harlem.
- A woman, 26, was knocked into the street by an ambulance and then run over by a car at West 96th Street and Broadway.
Vision Zero is a traffic program originally developed in Sweden that aims to reduce serious and deadly traffic accidents. The policies are based on the assumption that crashes cannot be avoided because people make mistakes. To make up for this, roads are designed to minimize the consequences.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is currently implementing Vision Zero in New York. His plan includes a number of initiatives aimed at minimizing fatal accidents caused by speeding, distracted driving and failure to yield to pedestrians:
- Increased number of traffic cameras
- Reduced speed limits in certain areas
- Adding police officers to the NYPD’s highway division
- Police barricades to prevent crossing streets without crosswalks
- Jaywalking tickets
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a serious pedestrian accident or other traffic crash, a seasoned auto accident lawyer in New York can help you understand your rights and options.