Pedestrian deaths decrease as bicyclist deaths increase in NYC

According to statistics, New York City saw the safest year ever for pedestrian deaths, but the same cannot be said for bicyclists.

According to the Wall Street Journal, New York City had a relatively good year for pedestrian safety in 2014. Statistics quoted in the article show that fatal pedestrian accidents, along with other types of traffic-related deaths, declined significantly last year. According to city officials, the city's Vision Zero plan is responsible for the decreases. Unfortunately, the news was not all good, as 2014 saw a considerable increase in bicyclist fatalities.

Pedestrian deaths

Specifically, the number of pedestrians killed in New York City during 2014 declined to 134, 46 fewer deaths than a year before. Interestingly, this decrease indicated that 2014 marked the fewest number of fatal pedestrian accidents occurring in a year since the city began recording this type of data in 1910. In addition to pedestrian deaths, general traffic deaths in 2014 decreased 15 percent to a total of 250. This is 43 fewer deaths than 2013.

The city's Vision Zero program, which aims to eventually eliminate all traffic deaths, is credited for the decrease. Under the program, the city lowered the speed limits on 90 percent of its streets. Additionally, police officers in the five boroughs have been ticketing more drivers for moving violations. Also, speed cameras have been deployed in certain areas, such as school zones, to better catch violators.

Bad news for bicyclists

Although 2014 may have been the safest year ever for pedestrians, bicyclists have not fared as well. The Gothamist recently reported that the number of bicyclists killed in the city increased from 12 in 2013 to 20 in the last year. Although the cause for the increase is currently unknown, many bicycle safety advocates say that the increase is proof that the city needs to do more to protect bicyclists.

According to safety experts, one of the most effective ways to reduce bicycle accidents and fatalities is to install separate lanes for bicycles. Indeed, New York has already instituted such lanes in certain areas. According to NYC DOT, the lanes have reduced the risk of bicyclist injuries by as much as 64 percent. Spurred on by the promising results, the DOT said it has committed to adding at least five miles of protected lanes each year. However, on already congested city streets, this move is controversial, since it will likely mean less room for car lanes and parking.

If injured, speak to an attorney

Whether on foot or riding a bike, persons face a heightened risk of death or serious injury when colliding with a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one is injured or killed because of a careless or inattentive driver, it is imperative to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Godosky & Gentile, P.C. can ensure that the cause of the accident is thoroughly investigated and work to maximize the amount of compensation available to you.