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New York City Traffic Deaths Are Falling for Most, but Not All


The numerous safety measures put into force as part of New York City’s Vision Zero plan seem to be having an impact. As DNAinfo reports, fatal pedestrian accidents are down substantially so far this year compared to 2013, the year before Vision Zero was adopted. However, not all groups are experiencing the same benefits of Vision Zero equally. In contrast to the decrease in pedestrian accidents, fatal bicycle accidents are on track to being higher in 2017 when compared to 2013.

Traffic safety improvements

The first six months of 2017 have, overall, been much safer for New York City residents when compared to the first six months of 2013. There have been 93 traffic deaths in the city for the first half of this year, which is the lowest for that time span since 2013. Pedestrian deaths have seen an especially large decrease, dropping from 83 in the first half of 2013 to 48 over the same period in 2017.

Not all groups are experiencing the same improvements, however. Cyclist deaths are actually increasing, from just seven in the first half of 2013 to nine so far this year. Motor vehicle occupant deaths are also up, from 23 in 2013 to 27 in 2017. Motorcyclist deaths, at 11 so far this year, are down from the 15 in 2013, but are higher than the six in 2016 and the 10 in 2016.

Enough protection for cyclists?

As Gothamist reports, it is important to point out that much of the increase in cyclist deaths comes down to an increase in ridership. The number of cyclists has increased in the city by about 150 percent since the mid-1990s. Since then, the rate of cyclist deaths has also been declining. There were 44.2 cyclist deaths for every 100 million bike trips in the city between 1996 and 2000, whereas between 2011 and 2015 that figure had dropped to 12.8.

Nonetheless, the fact that cyclist fatalities themselves have been rising over recent years is troubling and a sign that more needs to be done to protect cyclists. Currently, only about 20 percent of New York City streets have bike lanes. While the Department of Transportation has said it plans on adding 50 miles of new bike lanes each year, only 10 miles of those will be protected bike lanes.

Personal injury law

Being involved in an accident, especially as a pedestrian or cyclist, can be traumatizing and the injuries may take months and even years to recover from. In many cases financial compensation may be available to help address expenses related to medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can help accident victims understand what options they have available and help them pursue whatever compensation the y may be entitled to.