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NYC 2020 Traffic Deaths on Track to Reach Record High

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

As if 2020 hasn’t already been tough enough for New York City, it was recently reported that the city is on track to have the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2014, the year that Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.

Street safety non-profit Transportation Alternatives reported that so far in 2020, 200 people have died in traffic crashes. In contrast, at this time last year, there were 188 traffic-related deaths, eventually spiking up to 220 deaths for all of 2019. If the rate continues for the last 70 days of 2020, there could be 243 deaths, making it the worst year for traffic deaths during de Blasio’s tenure thus far.

This is not only disappointing, but frankly unacceptable. New Yorkers should feel confident that they can walk the streets safely whenever they leave their homes. Even more disappointing is that this rise in traffic deaths is happening even though de Blasio implemented Vision Zero in 2014, an initiative with the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths in New York City by 2024. Clearly, the city is not on track to meet this goal.

According to a statement from Transportation Alternatives, even with the growing number of traffic fatalities, de Blasio has cut the budget for Vision Zero and has ignored recommendations provided by the Surface Transportation Advisory Council meant to avoid more traffic violence. A statement from the organization Families for Safe Streets said, “Every crash is preventable, but only if city leaders take responsibility for safety on their streets–and take it seriously.” 

One might also wonder, with the COVID-19 pandemic, shouldn’t the traffic fatality numbers have decreased? For a few months when the pandemic first began in March, New York City was on complete lockdown, which led to less street traffic. However, even though there is a decrease in cars on the streets because of COVID-19, it is believed that the emptier roads are leading many motorists to drive more recklessly, causing the increase in fatalities. The Vision Zero website states, “Open roadways are not an invitation to ignore the law and put others in danger. If you have to drive, follow the posted speed limit and remember to always yield to pedestrians and cyclists.”

Whether you are a motorist or a pedestrian, remember to stay alert and exercise the utmost caution when walking or driving on New York City’s streets.  

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident on New York City streets, you are not alone. The car accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are well-versed in traffic laws and have years of experience litigating car accident cases. Notable results include: 

  • $32,756,156 record-breaking verdict for a 60-year-old Vietnam veteran who was violently struck by a reckless and impaired driver, leaving him with catastrophic injuries
  • $12,000,000 settlement for a 5-year-old child who was standing on the sidewalk when two vehicles collided and one jumped the curb, hitting him
  • $9,263,326 jury verdict for a taxi passenger who suffered spinal nerve damage and knee injuries after the taxi he was sitting in was rear-ended
  • $8,800,000 settlement for a grandmother who sustained a traumatic brain injury among other severe injuries after she was struck by a van that jumped the sidewalk

Don’t hesitate to call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our online contact form to receive a FREE, no-obligation legal consultation with one of our qualified attorneys today. We are ready to discuss your case. 


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