New York City traffic fatalities increase

Traffic deaths have been steadily declining in New York City since 2007. Now statistics show a concerning reversal of that trend. Between July 2011 and June 2012 deaths from New York City motor vehicle accidents rose 23 percent compared to the previous year (291 compared to 236), according to the recently released Mayor’s Management Report.

Although the number of overall accidents declined slightly, 176 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in collisions, and 115 motorists and passengers lost their lives in crashes. This compares to 158 and 78 fatalities respectively during the year previous.

When fatalities were declining the Bloomberg administration attributed the decrease to its initiatives. “The reduction in traffic deaths as a result of our safety engineering means nearly 300 New Yorkers are alive today who would not have been…,” explained the Transportation Department Commissioner after the 2011 statistics came out. Now some are questioning whether those changes really resulted in improved safety.

Major causes of accidents included speeding, running stop signs or red lights and driving under the influence. The Commissioner also suggested that there may have been an increase in distracted driving and distracted walking. To combat distractions the city plans to paint “LOOK!” on the curbs of over 100 intersections in the city considered to be the most dangerous.

The executive director of the cycling and pedestrian advocacy group Transportation Alternatives argued reckless drivers are largely to blame for the significant increase in pedestrian and cyclists deaths across the city.

If a loved one has been killed in a traffic accident an attorney can provide advice about recovering compensation in a wrongful death suit. This includes compensation for loss of future earnings, loss of financial support, medical expenses and funeral expenses. Of course no amount of money can replace a loved one, but it can help ease the financial burden you and your family are facing.

Source: The New York Times, “Deaths Rise for Drivers, Bikers and Walkers on City Streets,” Matt Flegenheimer, September 26, 2012

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