New York City has a bad reputation for road safety. There is a perception that drivers are reckless behind the wheel, speed, drive while distracted and commit other illegal and dangerous acts that place everyone at risk. This is especially true for people on bicycles and pedestrians. When there is a crash between an automobile and bicyclists or pedestrians, there is a significant chance of serious injuries and fatalities. Because pedestrians and bicyclists are so vulnerable, various initiatives like Vision Zero were implemented to try and make the roads safer. Unfortunately, its goals have not been met and the statistics in 2021 are troubling.
2021 may be the deadliest year since Vision Zero came into effect
Vision Zero was meant to enhance safety. Among its strategies were to educate people on the road, change how the streets are engineered and enforce the law. Created in 2014, it showed early promise. Transportation Alternatives is an advocate for road safety. It assessed the number of road deaths from the start of the year through the end of June and found that 124 people lost their lives on New York streets. This is the highest number since Vision Zero was launched. The death totals were as follows: eight bicyclists, 64 pedestrians and 52 motorists.
Hit and runs are also a burgeoning challenge. In 2021, there were 47 such accidents. This is the worst total in six years. More worryingly, law enforcement has had trouble finding and arresting these drivers with only 11 people facing charges. Among the safety enhancements of Vision Zero are an increase in speed cameras, bus lanes and bicycle lanes. Law enforcement is also cracking down on driver misbehavior. Transportation Alternatives wants the mayoral administration to push safety initiatives through more rapidly, but as these numbers show, the roads remain treacherous no matter how extensive attempted safety improvements are.
The ramifications of an auto accident can be life-changing
After motor vehicle accidents, people can be confronted with a litany of problems. That might include major medical costs, the need for extended treatment, problems getting back to work and an inability to contribute to a family in a personal way. For those who have lost a loved one, the challenges are multiplied. Since these cases can be complex, it is imperative to have guidance from the start. That can include a full investigation, gathering evidence, finding witnesses and accruing police and medical reports. Consulting with those who understand these issues and know how to move forward is a good start.