The New York City streets are busy all day, every day. Given the number of people who live and work in the five boroughs as well as the litany of visitors that come to the city for business and pleasure, the traffic can be frightening. That is true for anyone including experienced drivers, longtime city dwellers and people who are in awe of the size and the speed at which New York operates. It is unfortunate that auto accidents are a frequent cause of injuries and fatalities. This should be considered when people head out and they should be aware of the problems they might face after a crash.
To try and make the roads safer for drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, safety initiatives were implemented under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the most prominent being Vision Zero. Still, as Mr. de Blasio left office, the statistics for road fatalities in the city were worrisome. Pedestrians are always vulnerable to injuries and loss of life when they are hit by a car. The same is true for bicyclists. Even those in a motor vehicle can be seriously hurt with broken bones, spinal cord damage, head injuries and more.
The numbers have been rising even with greater attention paid to safety. According to the most recent numbers accrued toward the end of 2021 by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 266 road fatalities in the city. This was the highest number since 2013 when there were 293. That was the first year of Mayor de Blasio’s tenure running the city. Part of the challenge for remaining safe in 2021 was due to the ongoing national health issue.
Because there were somewhat fewer vehicles on the road, drivers took it as an opportunity to go beyond normal speed limits. They also committed other violations like distracted driving and recklessness. Speed cameras are a part of the city landscape, but the threat of financial penalties does not always dissuade drivers from speeding or running red lights.
While Vision Zero focused on reducing fatalities, safer streets will also reduce the number of injuries people suffer in auto crashes. Medical expenses, lost time at work and long-term fear as to what the future might hold are common. This is especially true for lower income workers, but it can impact anyone regardless of their job or personal situation. If a person working to support his or her family is suddenly injured in a motor vehicle accident, there will be a litany of concerns that will come up. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will be unsure of what to do and what their rights are. From the outset, it is important to have guidance. This can help with investigating the accident, seeing how and why it happened, finding out about the driver’s insurance coverage and knowing what steps to take. Having compassionate help is critical from the beginning. Discussing the situation with experienced people can be vital to moving forward and reaching a positive outcome.
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