Insite from the Best New York Car Accident Lawyers
NYC DOT REPORTS DRAMATIC INCREASE IN AUTO ACCIDENTS IN 2016 AS USE OF APP-BASED FOR HIRE CAR SERVICES INCREASES
As the popularity and use of app-based for-hire car services like Uber literally increases daily in New York City, so, too, has the number of motor vehicle accidents that have been reported so far this year. To date in 2016 there have been nearly 2,400 more driver injuries than there were in Michael Bloomberg’s last year in office. Further, injuries to bicyclists have increased 10.2%, and there has been in increase of 6.6% in pedestrian injuries after falling by more than 17% in 2015.
This uptick in incidents of motor vehicle-related accidents, and injuries to passengers as a result, is putting increased pressure on Mayor de Blasio’s much-lauded Vision Zero Action Program (VZAP) to deliver on the promise. Pedestrian safety organizations in the city are looking to the Mayor and his administration to do something more to stem the tide of a problem that could thwart the increased safety goals the Mayor set for VZAP when the program was first announced.
According to the latest data from The New York City Department of Transportation, the numbers of crashes involving app-based vehicles has more than tripled the number of passenger vehicle accidents over the past two years — from 534 in July 2014 to 1,672 in June 2016.
Records obtained recently by The New York Post showed
there were five fatal crashes involving black car drivers between May and June of this year — just two less than all of 2015, according to the Post.
“In comparison,” the Post reported, “there have been no yellow taxis involved in accidents that resulted in a fatality so far in 2016.”
An analysis of DOT data paints an even more disparate contrast in accidents involving yellow cabs vs. the so-called “black cars.” The number of yellow cab drivers involved in crashes has actually gone down over the years — with 1,168 occurring in July 2014, 1,118 in July 2015 and 1,054 in June 2016.
Since January, black cars have been involved in a total of 9,062 crashes, which is 4,273 more than what was recorded during the same time span in 2015. The increase in fender-benders in that lone sector has ultimately boosted overall crashes per month from 2,835 in July 2014 to 3,814 in June 2016.
“This comes at a time,” according to Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top New York auto accident law firm of Dankner Milstein, “when drivers often work for multiple driving services such as Uber, Lyft and Juno — and may have more than one cellphone or tablet in their cars, taking their focus off the road.
“The devices can be dangerously distracting,” Dankner added.
According to The New York Post report, the TLC notes that the increase in crashes is in line with the increase in for-hire cars on the road over that same period. The commission added that the data not only encompass the number of drivers who may have had a causal role in a crash, but also ones who were either victims or innocent participants.
“There is highly uneven enforcement on the street,” a TLC official spokesperson said, “that skews heavily against yellow cabbies due to their high visibility and away from black cars which blend into the streetscape and are often impossible to differentiate from passenger cars at a distance.
“This uneven regulation,” he added, “results in more dangerous drivers gravitating to the less regulated black car app companies where drivers know they will not receive as many summonses and will be allowed to operate even if their license is suspended. Put it all together and you have a recipe for more crashes and more dangerous streets.”