…BUT A RECENT REPORT FROM THE NYPD CLEARLY INDICATES THAT MAKING NEW YORK CITY STREETS SAFER FOR PEDESTRIANS IS A JOB THAT IS FAR FROM OVER
While the pedestrian fatality rate in New York City due to motor vehicle accidents is now better than it is in many other major cities in the United States, and even as the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by motor vehicles continues a steady year-to-year decline since Mayor de Blasio instituted his much-touted Vision Zero Action program — which included a citywide speed limit reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph – unfortunately, the reality of preventing pedestrian deaths on New York City streets isn’t quite as simple as lowering the speed limit by five miles per hour.
Despite all the talk from City Hall about safety and accident prevention virtually ever since the mayor was sworn into office in January 2014, one tragic fact of life in New York City has remained intractable: roughly once in every 48 hours, a pedestrian or cyclist is killed in a car crash.
“In fact, for several years now, motor vehicles have been more lethal than guns in the City,” Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top motor vehicle accident law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. said. “Motor vehicle accidents are becoming even far more lethal than a contagious disease.”
According to a recent NYPD motor vehicle collision report, some 200 people have died so far on city streets this year, and traffic-related fatality is the No. 1 cause of death for children ages 1 to 12.
According to the report, as of June 30, 2015, a total of 38,334 motorists were involved in a motor vehicle collision. Of that number, 1,790 motorists (6 killed), 1,777 passengers (4 killed), 459 cyclists (1 killed), and 769 pedestrians (9 killed) were injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle.
The report found that the major factors that contributed to motor vehicle related accidents in the city are as follows:
- Driver inattention/distraction — 3734
- Following too closely — 1838
- Failure to yield right of way — 1239
- Unsafe lane changing — 850
- Backing unsafely — 789
- Passing too closely — 742
- Improper passing or lane usage — 739
- Turning improperly — 530
- Driver inexperience — 346
- Unsafe speed — 353
- Traffic control disregarded — 292
- Alcohol/drug involvement — 200
- Aggressive driving/road rage — 94
Vehicle type involved in accidents:
- Passenger vehicle — 18989
- Sport utility/station wagon — 9180
- Taxi vehicle — 1431
- Van — 1352
- Large commercial vehicle — 788
- Small commercial vehicle — 671
- Bus — 655
- Pick-up truck — 597
- Bicycle — 585
- Livery vehicle — 515
- Motorcycle — 203
“Given this reality, people who are injured, or the families of those who are killed in motor vehicle accidents, need to have their rights protectedand be compensated for their loss”, Dankner said.
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