We all know how frightening it can be to cross a busy intersection in New York City. Whether on foot or behind the wheel, navigating the bustling streets of any city can be terrifying. In New York, cars run yellow lights, turn into crosswalks, double-park, and “block the grid.” Pedestrians and bicyclists sometimes ignore the rules by crossing against a light or weaving in and out of traffic. These behaviors are so common that they have become almost synonymous with the New York City experience. Unfortunately, these behaviors cause automobile accidents and pedestrian accidents in New York which lead to hundreds of deaths and injuries each year.
In 2014, Mayor de Blasio introduced his Vision Zero plan. The plan’s intention is to reduce the number of severe traffic-related injuries and traffic-related fatalities caused by New York City accidents to zero. The city has implemented projects to improve safety at designated “dangerous” intersections, created protected bike lanes, and installed LPIs – Leading Pedestrian Intervals – which help reduce conflicts related to pedestrians crossing the street and cars turning at the same time. The plan has also resulted in the use of speed cameras and an increase in enforcement of moving violations by the police.
Vision Zero has also aimed to improve the driving safety of taxi drivers in the city with an “honor roll” and the use of safe driving technology. Vision Zero has also begun a community outreach and education program designed to garner support and respect for the initiatives.
The 2015 Vision Zero year-end report indicates that after just two years, the initiatives are having the desired effects and are moving the citywide statistics a bit closer to zero. There have been fewer fatalities and serious injuries, which means that the millions of NYC residents and visitors can navigate the streets and sidewalks with a little less fear. Some statistics straight from the report:
In 2015, 231 people lost their lives in a traffic crash, the fewest traffic deaths recorded in any year since 1910. 2014 and 2015, the first two years of Vision Zero, are also the first time all traffic fatalities have declined in two consecutive years in a decade.
In 2014, there were fewer people killed or severely injured (KSI) in crashes than in any previous year for which the City has data, an encouraging indication that Vision Zero is working. Severe injuries include loss of mobility, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations
134 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic crashes, below the average of recent years prior to Vision Zero. Fewer pedestrians lost their lives in 2015 than 2014, the first year of Vision Zero, which had previously been the safest year for pedestrians.
It is nice to see that the Mayor’s initiatives are working and that there may come a day when NYC has zero traffic related serious injuries and fatalities.
In the event that you are involved and injured in a traffic crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may be awarded your medical costs, lost wages and more. Contact the New York City automobile accident attorneys at Leeds Brown Law P.C. for more information and to find out what rights you have after your accident.