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The Streets of NYC Were Deadly in 2020

February 26, 2021
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According to Gothamist (brought to us by New York Public Radio), the streets of New York City in 2020 stood out as one of the deadliest years in terms of traffic accidents. When the article was published in mid-December, 2020 was on track to earn top billing for the City’s deadliest year since Mayor de Blasio was voted in 2014 – with a campaign pledge to put a stop to traffic deaths via the implementation of the international Vision Zero initiative. If a negligent driver leaves you injured in a traffic accident of any kind, don’t wait to consult with an experienced NYC traffic accident attorney.

The Mayor Weighs In

The City’s traffic deaths for 2020 had reached 234 by December 14, which is up from 208 on the same date in 2019. The mayor has responded to the increase by relaying that it is a reflection of the perfect storm wrought by the global pandemic. The need for social distancing and for decreasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus decreased mass transit usage, which led to an increase in travel by car. As far as 2021 is concerned, de Blasio vows to double down on the City’s Vision Zero efforts and to continue whittling away at those traffic death numbers.

The Statistics

The traffic accident statistics for NYC in 2020 include the following:

  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased slightly in 2020. At 96 deaths, it’s the lowest count since Vision Zero began in 2014.
  • Bicycling fatalities in 2020 hovered right around 2019’s historically deadly total.
  • The number of vehicle occupant and motorcyclist fatalities soared in 2020 (compared to 2019). The Department of Transportation blames this uptick on an explosion of reckless drivers who began speeding around the newly empty streets of the City when the pandemic hit and who show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
  • NYC’s 950 speed cameras (dispersed across 750 school zones) issued about twice as many speeding tickets in 2020 – compared to 2019.

Authorities comment that the pandemic seems to have elicited our worst selves when it comes to how we behave behind the wheel. Advocates of safer streets caution that Mayor de Blasio’s administration failed to boldly and swiftly address the pandemic’s ripple effects on traffic safety.

Transit Experts Tapped to Help

A panel of transit experts installed by de Blasio in response to the pandemic recommended all of the following:

  • Expanded street space for pedestrians
  • Increased bike lane installation (in an attempt to double ridership)
  • Installation of 40 miles of emergency bus lanes
  • A plan for restricting City traffic (similar to efforts after 9/11)

These experts contend that the mayor failed to follow through with their recommendations and that the city is paying a hefty price for this lapse.

You Need an Experienced New York City Traffic Accident Attorney on Your Side

If you’ve been injured by another motorist’s negligence, the accomplished traffic accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman in NYC have decades of impressive experience successfully guiding cases like yours toward favorable resolutions. For more information about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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