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Spike in New York City Traffic Fatalities Raises Concerns

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At least 221 people were killed in traffic accidents in New York City in 2019, five years after Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to eliminate all traffic accident deaths. According to a report in The New York Times, traffic accident deaths began to rise last year and have continued the upward trend this year despite the initial successes of the mayor’s Vision Zero program, which set an ambitious goal of bringing down traffic accident fatalities in the city to zero.

With these current New York City fatality numbers, that goal remains distant. The victims of these deadly accidents represent a cross section of New Yorkers. They are young and old; women and men; the wealthy and the working class. The death toll that began to creep up last year has soared this year, giving it a devastating start.

Drivers Overwhelmingly at Fault

The New York Times’ analysis of city crash data on both injuries and deaths showed that much of the problem stems from careless driving including distracted driving, failure to yield and speeding. Further, NYPD’s data shows that pedestrians and bicyclists were cited in less than 5 percent of the fatal crashes last year.

The newspaper’s review of accident reports showed that four contributing factors were listed in about half of the crashes that killed pedestrians and bicyclists last year – driver inattention or distraction, failure to yield, disregarding traffic signals or signs and unsafe speed. Five crashes involved alcohol and five resulted from vehicles backing up unsafely.

The analysis also found that a driver who was not impaired and remained at the scene of the crash did not usually face serious consequences. Last year, the Times reports, only four drivers were arrested in 28 deaths involving bicyclists, which is about 14 percent of those crashes. Eight other drivers received a summons for violations including speeding, unsafe opening of a door into traffic and unsafe passing.

Dangerous Roadways

The Times’ study also found that Brooklyn is the most dangerous place to ride a bicycle. The borough had the most bicycle deaths so far – 17 out of 28 fatalities, or about 60 percent, even though it has a third of the city’s population. Across the city, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities were clustered in neighborhoods such as Chelsea in Manhattan and Sunset Park in Brooklyn along corridors that are known to be dangerous. Six people were killed along Third Avenue in Brooklyn. Pedestrians made up the greatest share of the city’s 221 traffic deaths. There were 124 pedestrians killed last year.

Until last year, traffic deaths in the city had dropped, indicating the success of Mayor de Blasio’s program. However, traffic injuries are actually up currently by 20 percent. More than 60,000 people were injured in traffic accidents in 2019, which is an increase from 50,000 in 2014. While traffic injuries get less attention than fatalities, it should be noted that getting hit by a car can leave an individual with serious injuries and expensive medical bills. Such accidents make it difficult for victims to continue working on their jobs, earning a living, using public or private transportation or caring for children and family members.

Large and heavier vehicles such as trucks and SUVs are also more likely to kill or seriously injure someone. The popularity of delivery services such as Amazon, Fresh Direct and others have increased truck traffic in the city. SUVs and station wagons were involved in 59 out of 151 crashes that killed pedestrians and bicyclists in 2019 – nearly 40 percent, police data shows. Other types of large vehicles such as box trucks and dump trucks were involved in another 40 crashes.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

In pedestrian or bicycle accident cases where negligence (carelessness) is established, drivers and their employers and other responsible parties can be held financially liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause, even if they are not criminally charged by the authorities.

It is important to remember that pedestrian accident victims and their families may be able to seek compensation for injuries or losses in collisions even if they were not walking in a marked crosswalk and even if the driver has not been charged. Our law firm recovered the full one million dollar insurance policy for a girl who was not in the crosswalk when a motor vehicle hit her.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/nyregion/nyc-deaths-pedestrian-cycling.html



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