Did the roads in New York City seem quieter than usual in 2020? According to the National Safety Council traffic on U.S. roads was on the decline in 2020 as schools were shut down and many people were working from home. What may surprise you to learn is that despite lighter traffic the number of traffic fatalities increased in 2020.
Traffic fatalities in the U.S.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that the number of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. in 2020 saw a 13.2% decrease from the number of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. in 2019. However, the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2020 rose about 8% compared to 2019. The NHTSA reports that this increase may have been caused by impaired driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.
Traffic fatalities in New York City
The number of traffic fatalities in New York City in 2020 followed the same trend as traffic fatalities across the U.S. While the number of motorists on the road went down during 2020 the number of traffic fatalities during that year increased in comparison to the number of traffic fatalities in 2019.
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, as of October 2020 175 individuals in New York City lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident. This number sat at 169 in 2019. Broken down, in 2020, 38 motorcyclists and 50 vehicle occupants lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. In 2019 these numbers sat at 22 and 37 respectively. In addition, 31 bicyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2020 compared to 28 bicyclist fatalities in 2019.
One safety expert reported that with fewer cars on the road motorists were more apt to drive faster than the posted speed limit. Many streets in New York City are not conducive to speeding, leaving little room for error even if you are travelling only 10 or 15 miles above the posted speed limit. Drunk driving and the failure to wear a seat belt also contributed to the increase in traffic fatalities.
Learn more about wrongful death claims
Moving on from the death can be difficult financially. For this reason, some people who lose a loved one due to another person’s negligence choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. Our firm’s webpage on wrongful death may be of interest to those who want to learn more about their rights and options following a fatal motor vehicle accident.